The United States demanded, on Thursday, the immediate withdrawal of foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya, according to Agence France-Presse.
“We call on all foreign parties, including Russia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, to respect Libya’s sovereignty and immediately end all military intervention in Libya,” said US Ambassador to the United States Richard Mills. Mills said this at a meeting of the UN Security Council on resolving the Libyan issue.
Libya has suffered from political chaos and fighting between rival groups since the 2011 uprising, during which the group overthrew and killed the late leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Oil-rich Libya currently has two competing administrations – the internationally recognized Government of National Unity in Tripoli and a government based in Tobruk in the eastern part of the country, loyal to military commander Khalifa Haftar. On October 23, 2020, the two sides signed a ceasefire agreement brokered by the United Nations.
At the same time, the agreement called on foreign actors in the Libyan conflict to withdraw their forces and their mercenaries within three months at the latest. But the deadline expired on Saturday, and the aforementioned countries did not take any steps to separate their forces, according to Agence France-Presse.
According to United Nations estimates, there are currently around 20,000 foreign soldiers and mercenaries in Libya. Turkey militarily supports the Government of National Unity; Commander Haftar, in turn, is supported by Egypt, the UAE and Russia, with Moscow denying its role in the conflict.
The United Nations has mediated negotiations between the two disputes in Libya. The next tour will soon take place in Geneva, Switzerland. The last talks between the Libyan delegates saw progress on January 16, when the two sides agreed to establish a mechanism to elect a new transitional government. It will be responsible for the preparations for the elections scheduled to take place next December.
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