Turkish FM stresses dialogue to resolve Libyan conflict

The recent escalation in Libya should be tackled through dialogue instead of military aggression, Turkey's foreign minister said Tuesday.

"The unity and solidarity of Libya should be ensured through a conference to be organized by the UN, not with military intervention," Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a joint news conference with his Qatari counterpart Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani.

Cavusoglu said Turkey recognized and backed Libya's Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), emphasizing that the international community and the UN were striving to put an end to the campaign against Tripoli by Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar.

He underlined that seeking a resolution in Libya through a military campaign would bring nothing but disaster to Libya and its people.

Al Thani said Qatar disapproved of Haftar's military campaign because it violates international law.

"Qatar stands with [the Government of] National Accord in Libya, for it is a government recognized by the UN. We wish for peace and stability in Libya," he added.

Last Thursday, Haftar, a military commander based in eastern Libya, launched military operations with an ambitious campaign to capture the capital Tripoli, where the UN-backed GNA is headquartered. After initial success, however, the campaign appeared to have lost momentum Monday.

Libya has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when a bloody, NATO-backed uprising led to the ouster and death of strongman Muammar Gaddafi after four decades in power.

Since then, the country's stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of power: one in the eastern city of Benghazi, with which Haftar is associated, and another in Tripoli, which has UN support.

US decision on Iran's Revolutionary Guards

Cavusoglu commented on Washington's unprecedented move to designate Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a "foreign terrorist organization" Monday.

"Such decisions pave the way for instability in our region," he asserted, adding this move was not plausible and contradictory.

He criticized the U.S. for cooperating with the PKK terror group's Syrian offshoot the YPG in northern Syria.

"It is a contradiction that the U.S., which collaborates with a terror group, designates another country's official army as a terrorist organization," he said.

He stressed that Turkey did not favor the IRGC's activities in Syria, but it does not mean it views Iran's army as a terror group.

On the same topic, Thani said: "We don't agree with this unilateral decision. Everything should be resolved through dialogue...We want peace and stability to be dominant in the region."


Al Thani said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent statement regarding the annexation of the West Bank was another topic discussed in the meeting.

"We are striving to bring the Palestinian parties together [especially to protect the Palestinian territories] and ensure a reconciliation," he said.

"Our purpose is to ensure the unity and solidarity of our Palestinian brothers. The Palestinian cause -- particularly the status of Jerusalem -- is our common cause. We will continue to protect the Palestinian cause together," he said.

Qatar's role as mediator between Taliban, US

Al Thani went on to say that Qatar was functioning as a mediator between the Taliban and the U.S.

"We strive to achieve peace in Afghanistan," he said.

Cavusoglu saluted Qatar's efforts to hammer out a peace agreement.

"Our overall goal is the stability and peace of Afghanistan," he said.

The Taliban and the U.S. said after a marathon round of talks in Qatar in February that a draft agreement has been reached for the eventual withdrawal of troops and guarantees that Afghanistan would not be allowed to turn into a terrorism hub.

The next round of talks is set to take place later this month but no exact dates have been announced. The U.S.-led talks are aimed at ending the country's 17-year war.

Turkey's role in Islamic World

Al Thani also said Qatar thanked Turkey for its efforts in the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) amid recent developments within Islamic countries.

"We want Turkey to play a more powerful role in the Islamic world," he said.

Source: Anadolu Agency