Mon, 28 Sep 2020

Bullish Erdogan warns Libya 'chaos' could spread

24 Jan 2020, 22:11 GMT+10

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned on Friday of chaos in Libya unless peace is quickly established, as he hosted German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The two leaders inaugurated a new Turkish-German University in Istanbul, where Erdogan expressed his concerns about the Libyan conflict.

"If calm is not established as soon as possible, the atmosphere of chaos in Libya will affect all the Mediterranean basin," he said in a speech.

He called for greater pressure on military strongman Khalifa Haftar, who is waging an offensive against the UN-recognised government in Tripoli, which is supported by Turkey.

READ | Libya's Mitiga airport closes again amid threats from Haftar

Missile attacks this week on Tripoli's airport, blamed on Haftar's forces, show "who is in favour of peace and who is in favour of bloodshed and tears," Erdogan said.

On Wednesday, the Libyan capital's only operational airport closed again after threats by forces loyal to Haftar.

"We hope the international community will not make the mistakes it made in Syria," he said.

World powers have stepped up efforts in recent weeks to find a political solution to the conflict, after years of chaos following the killing of longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

ALSO READ | Libya ceasefire nigh? Putin to attend Libya peace conference

The opening of the new Turkish-German University comes at a moment of warming relations between the two countries.

Merkel described it as "an extraordinary example of cooperation between Turkey and Germany".

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