Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu

Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has stressed that military operation will no doubt take place if Haftar's forces do not withdraw from Sirte and Jufra, saying that the Government of National Accord (GNA) is determined to solve this matter.

Speaking to the state-owned news channel, News Turk, Çavuşoğlu disclosed that there are diplomatic efforts going on to solve this issue.

"Turkey is giving more time for negotiations, but preparations for a military operation are already underway, and it will inevitably take place if Haftar's forces refuse to withdraw," the Turkish minister underscored.

He affirmed that the GNA must control the coastal city of Sirte and the airbase in Jufra before agreeing to a ceasefire.

In an article published by the American newspaper Politico, Çavuşoğlu said that the arms embargo to Libya is applied only to the GNA, but not to the "putschist" Khalifa Haftar.

In this context, he added that the UAE, Egypt, and Russia are supporting Haftar by all means, as well as France, "the historical ally of Turkey", despite him hindering efforts for peace and stability. He also indicated that Paris's allegations about the Turkish naval harassment of a French ship have not been confirmed by NATO."

Çavuşoğlu believes that Tripoli would have been occupied by the "putschist" Khalifa Haftar, had it not been for the Turkish support which prevented a humanitarian catastrophe in Tripoli, that would have effected other European countries as well.

He called on the European Union to pay more attention to the mass graves found in the city of Tarhouna, which is believed to have been committed by Haftar's militias, noting that the forced closing of oil operations by Haftar's militias is depriving the Libyans of an important source of income.