EU’s Borrell calls on Turkey, Russia to leave Libya

The European Union’s foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said Turkey and Russia should exit Libya to resolve the country’s crisis.

“There are many interventions and foreign forces in Libya, like Russia and Turkey, and they must leave the country as part of solving the crisis,” pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Aawsat cited the top diplomat on Sunday as saying at the Mediterranean Dialogues Conference in Rome.

Borrell said elections were “necessary for government legitimacy” in Libya, where the U.N.-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) has been fighting the self-styled Libyan National Government (LNA) for control.

Elections in the north African country are scheduled for Dec. 24, under the interim government.

A ceasefire agreement signed in October last year calls for all foreign troops and mercenaries to leave Libya, while Turkey maintains that it had made legitimate agreements with the GNA and is weighing options to increase its military presence.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu called a previous call by French President Emmanuel Macron for Ankara’s withdrawal “disrespectful”, adding that Turkey would “only speak to Libya” and would handle the matter after the elections.

The EU is ready to send observers to Libya to monitor the elections, Borrell said.

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