Russia and Turkey call for a ceasefire in Libya

MORE INFORMATION The EU calls on Turkey to stop its military intervention in Libya, Libya the new battleground between Turkey and Russia Russia and Turkey hav

Russia and Turkey call for a ceasefire in Libya

MORE INFORMATION

The EU calls on Turkey to stop its military intervention in Libya, Libya the new battleground between Turkey and Russia

Russia and Turkey have agreed on Wednesday calls on the cease-fire in Libya, in which conflicting support sides opposed to one another. In recent days, the rebel forces of marshal Khalifa Hafter -supported by mercenaries, russians, in addition to Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia - have conquered Sirte and advanced on the capital, Tripoli. There is the seat of the Government of National Agreement, only recognized by the UN but whose only effective support is Turkey, which this week sent dozens of military trainers.

“Under the current critical circumstances, and in light of the targets set by the resolutions of the Security Council of the United Nations, we have decided to take the initiative and, as intermediaries, to call the parties in Libya to cease hostilities starting from 00: 00 hours of January 12, and to declare a cease-fire with the support measures needed to stabilize the situation on the ground,” reads the press release distributed after the meeting of the presidents of both countries, the Russian Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accompanied by their respective Foreign ministers.

In an appearance before the press, the heads of diplomacy of both countries, Sergei Lavrov and Mevlüt Çavusoglu called on the parties to the conflict to “immediately assemble around the table of negotiations” to find a solution on the basis of the Political Agreement signed in 2015 under the auspices of the UN. However, the divisions between the various assemblies that claimed representatives of the popular sovereignty libya, led to a new civil conflict among factions and militias. Among all the combatants, the forces organized around the marshal Hafter have been proven the most powerful and now control most of the country, which has led Turkey -which until now only supplied weaponry - to approve the dispatch of troops at the request of the Government of National Agreement of Tripoli.

The European Union has called to put an end to the foreign interference in Libya, with special emphasis on the recent shipment of Turkish troops. Despite the fact that, officially, Brussels is supporting the GNA, the EU itself is divided as France and Greece are inclined by the forces of Hafter, while Italy is positioned closer to Tripoli. All in all, Reuters reported that this Wednesday the Italian prime minister would meet with the rebel general.

Although Turkey and Russia are supporters of opposing camps in both Libya and in other regional conflicts, the harmony between its leaders has become the relationship between the two countries as “strategic”, in the words of Putin. The Russian president and his Turkish counterpart met today in Istanbul to inaugurate a gas pipeline but, before the ceremony, took the opportunity to try behind closed doors for an hour and a half the situation in the Middle East and the tension arising from the confrontation between the united States and Iran. In a statement after the meeting, Russia and Turkey, strongly criticized the murder of the general iranian Qasem Soleimani in an american attack as the launch of ballistic missiles from Iran to bases of the USA in Iraq. “The use of force by either side will not contribute to finding solutions to the complex problems of the Middle East, on the contrary, it will lead to a new cycle of instability and eventually will harm the interests of all,” reads the text.

“Our goal is to reduce tension and to return to reign your sanity in a region through which passes 30% of the world's energy supply. This land is exhausted, can not continue to pay the price. We are using all the diplomatic channels to reduce the tension in a moment in sounding the drums of war between our ally the US and our neighbor Iran. We will work with Russia to do this,” said Erdogan, at the same time criticized those who use the territory of Syria, Iraq and the Persian gulf to carry out “wars by proxy” to “defend their interests”. The Foreign minister of Turkish will travel on Thursday to Iraq to deal with the situation.

Another of the topics that caught the agenda of the two leaders was the war in Syria. Putin arrived in Istanbul on Tuesday night from Damascus, where he met with president Bashar al-Assad. The intervention of Russia from 2015 it has been the key to military victory of the syrian regime against the rebel forces, supported by Turkey and currently arrinconadas in the northwest corner of the country. But is has also proved of great importance to the collaboration of Iran that Soleimani was its architect. The disappearance of the general iranian could influence the development of the end of the conflict, as Moscow maintains a position that is more pragmatic Tehran about the situation in Syria.

For Turkey, the most important issue is to achieve a new cease-fire in the syrian province of Idlib, which is controlled by militias, salafists and the subject of a brutal crackdown of the regime and the Russian aircraft that has displaced over 300,000 people since mid-December, of which tens of thousands are crowded together to the Turkish border. Both countries were referred to previous agreements, “reduction of hostilities” in Idlib (although the cease-fire agreed earlier just have been kept on the ground) and to work in the solution of the conflict through the Mechanism of Astana, which brings together Russia, Iran, and Turkey as guarantor powers. “Although there are movements that push towards an increase of tension in the region, Turkey and Russia go in another direction,” said Putin.

A new Russian gas pipeline to southern Europe

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in Addition to political ties, economic cooperation between Russia and Turkey has narrowed in recent years, in particular in the field of energy. “We're not going to let our opinions discordant affecting the mutual interests,” stressed Erdogan on Wednesday during the inauguration ceremony of a gas pipeline Turkstream in Istanbul. This complex work of engineering, whose project was launched in 2014, consists of two subsea pipelines lying at a great depth under the waters of the Black sea and it communicates Krasnodar (Russia) and Kiyikoy (northwest Turkey). It has a transport capacity of 31.500 million cubic meters of which half will be for Turkish consumption and the rest will be transported through the network of the Runner's Gas South to countries such as Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece. For it will be “important not only for Turkey but for the economy of the countries of the south of Europe,” said Putin.

Turkey wants to become “a hub international energy”, stressed the presidentand Erdogan for what he called its neighbors to cooperate: “let's Do the Mediterranean, which has been a cradle of civilizations, a field of cooperation and not of conflict.” In recent years, Turkey has maintained a dispute with Cyprus, Greece, Israel and Egypt for their exploration of hydrocarbons in the waters of the Eastern Mediterranean, which has led the European Union to impose sanctions on Ankara. Turkey believes that these four countries have signed agreements among themselves to let you out of the sharing of energy resources submarines so has sent his ships to explore in the waters of Cyprus and has signed an agreement with the libyan Government in Tripoli to delimit its waters. “The sole objective of our exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean is to protect the interests of our country and the Turkish cypriots,” said Erdogan and he warned: “Any project that excludes our country in this area has the potential to be implemented”.

Updated Date: 09 January 2020, 21:00

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