ANKARA

Turkey on Wednesday said warlord Khalifa Haftar’s move to unilaterally declare himself the ruler of Libya “has once again revealed that he aims to create a military dictatorship in the country.” 

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry expressed Ankara’s desire for a political solution to the conflict and conveyed its support for the Libyan people.

“With this statement, Haftar once again revealed that he does not want the crisis in Libya to be resolved via political dialogue, that he does not support international efforts in this direction, including the outcome of the Berlin Conference, and aims to establish a military dictatorship in the country,” read the statement.

The ministry said Haftar “deepened the humanitarian situation further” with his attacks in Libya for over a year now.

It said the warlord blocked oil production, water supply, and even “prevented the supply of medical supplies needed by the Libyan people” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This person [Haftar], without a doubt, intends to establish a junta regime in Libya,” said the ministry, urging the international community “to give the necessary response … without further delay.”

“It should not be forgotten that, in the eyes of the Libyan people, those who support him, including some democratic countries, will be partners to what he did,” the statement added.

Conveying Ankara’s unwavering support to the Libyan people and for efforts towards a political solution, the ministry said Turkey remains dedicated to protecting Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) and all other legitimate Libyan institutions.

Warlord Haftar unilaterally declared himself the ruler of Libya on Monday, claiming that he “accepted the mandate of the Libyan people” and terming the Skhirat agreement of 2015 “a thing of the past.”

Since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: Haftar in eastern Libya, supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and the GNA in Tripoli, which enjoys the UN and international recognition.

Haftar’s self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA) launched a failed offensive to take Tripoli last April, which caused bloodshed and suffering but stalled on the outskirts of the city.

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