World Russia, Turkey Reach Agreement to Remove Troops From Libya, U.S. Official Says
Macron and Erdogan want to move together on Syria and Libya, according to the Elysee
NATO-Summit-France-Turkey: Macron and Erdogan want to move together on Syria and Libya, according to the Elysee © Reuters / Pool Macron and Erdogan want to move together on Syria and Libya, according to the Elysée Paris (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron and his Turkish counterpart RECEP TAYYIP Erdogan, who spoke at Head Monday on the sideline of the summit NATO in Brussels, posted a desire to move together on Syria and Libya, "said the Elysee.
A senior U.S. official said Russia and Turkey have tentatively reached an agreement to begin the process of withdrawing foreign troops from Libya in agreement with Germany's Foreign Minister pledging to remove foreign forces from Libya.
The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the Associated Press that the deal is not yet done, but each country is prepared to discuss an incremental withdrawal of about 300 troops by both sides.
between Macron and Erdogan, a "appeased" head-to-tensioning head
© Copyright 2021, Obs after Voltage months , French presidents Emmanuel Macron and Turk RECEP TAYYIP Erdogan met at Brussels this Monday, June 14 in "a calm climate", committing to "working together" on Libya and Syria, according to the Head of State French. The two leaders also addressed the case of Fabien Azoulay , a Frenchman sentenced to 16 years in prison by Turkish Justice for Narcotics in 2017.
"We will not let up, and we will not rest, until the last foreign forces have left Libya ... wherever they come from," German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said.
Maas said that Russia and Turkey have been heavily involved on opposite sides, but acknowledged that a withdrawal would have to be taken "step by step" while also maintaining balance so one side doesn't gain an advantage over the other.
For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.
Libya's transitional government underlined its commitment to holding elections on Dec. 24 at a conference Wednesday with powers that have interests in the North African country, while the German hosts vowed to keep up pressure until all foreign forces have been withdrawn from Libya.
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Germany and thebrought together 17 countries at the conference in Berlin. Libya's transitional leadership was joined by foreign ministers from Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia, Algeria, France and Italy, U.S. Secretary of State , and senior officials from Russia, the United Arab Emirates and others.
The meeting followed up on a January 2020 conference where leaders agreed to respect an arms embargo and to push the country's warring parties to reach a full cease-fire. Germany has tried to act as an intermediary.
Maas said the meeting "marked a new phase" and that "we are no longer only talking about Libya, but above all with Libya."
Participants welcomed progress since the process was launched. An October cease-fire agreement including a demand that all foreign fighters and mercenaries leave Libya within 90 days led to a deal on the elections in December and the transitional government that took office in February.
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Libyan Foreign Minister Najla Mangoush said the transitional government came "with a vision of how best to re-establish stability in our country and pave the way for free, inclusive and safe elections on Dec. 24."
Wednesday's conference saw powers involved in Libya recommit to refraining from interfering in the country's internal affairs and stating that foreign forces and mercenaries need to be withdrawn "without delay" — something on which there has been little progress.
Asked what guarantees the countries involved are giving to withdraw foreign fighters, Maas pointed to the fact that they had gathered for the conference.
Mangoush said there was "progress" regarding mercenaries, "so hopefully within the coming days mercenaries from both sides are going to be withdrawn," creating more trust and leading to further steps.
A further challenge will be to start bringing all armed groups in Libya under a joint military command.
Speaking earlier Wednesday ahead of the conference, Blinken said that "we share the goal of a sovereign, stable, unified, secure Libya free from foreign interference — it's what the people of Libya deserve, it's critical to regional security as well."
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© Mahmud Turkia / AFP The road connecting the east and west of Libya passing through the coast has been reopened over a part of 300 kilometers. After two years of closure, the coastal road between East and West Libya was reopened this Sunday, June 20th. Reopening on the front line, some 370 kilometers from the Tripoli capital, in the presence of Prime Minister Abdel Hamid Dbeibah and many of these ministers. The road connects the west of Libya, its border with Tunisia, to the east until Egypt.
"For that to happen, national elections need to go forward in December and that means urgent agreement is needed on constitutional and legal issues that would undergird those elections," he said. "And the Oct. 23 cease-fire agreement has to be fully implemented, including by withdrawing all foreign forces from Libya."
Conference participants supported efforts toward a reconciliation process and committed to helping Libyan authorities "in developing a comprehensive approach to addressing migration," including the closure of detention centers.
Aid group Doctors Without Borders said this week it was suspending its activities in two detention centers in Tripoli after "repeated incidents of violence toward refugees and migrants held there." It said staff had witnessed guards beating detainees at one center and received reports of people being shot at in another.
Libya has been a key transit country for migrants from Africa trying to reach Europe, especially after the collapse of order when a NATO-backed uprising toppled and later killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011. The oil-rich country was long divided between a U.N.-supported government in the capital, Tripoli, and rival authorities based in the country's east, each backed by armed groups and foreign governments.
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Tunisia authorities on Thursday rescued 267 migrants, most of them Bangladeshis, who tried to sail from neighbouring Libya to Europe across the Mediterranean, the International Organization for Migration said. Tunisia's coastguard said the migrants, who also included three Egyptians, had been stranded at sea after their boat broke down. The navy helped bring the migrants to shore at the Ben Guerdane port in southern Tunisia, near the border with Libya, and they were handed over to the IOM and the Red Crescent, the coastguard said.The migrants were placed in quarantine at a hotel on the Tunisian island of Djerba, the IOM said.