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Turkey supports UN-backed political process in Libya

Turkey supports a UN-backed political process in Libya, the country’s presidential spokesman said Wednesday, Anadolu reports.

It is necessary to clarify who initiated this conflict, Ibrahim Kalin told reporters in Berlin after a meeting on the Libyan crisis.

He arrived in the German capital earlier Wednesday upon the invitation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Libya has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in a NATO-backed uprising after four decades in power.

The oil-rich nation has since seen the emergence of two rival seats of power: one in the east to which renegade general Khalifa Haftar is affiliated, and the Tripoli-based GNA, which enjoys UN recognition.

Haftar’s forces launched a campaign in April to capture Tripoli from Libya’s internationally recognized GNA.

Clashes between the two sides since then have left more than 1,000 dead and about 5,500 wounded, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Wednesday’s meeting was attended by the five permanent members (P5) of the UN Security Council, Turkey, Germany, Italy, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Arab league as well as Ghassan Salame, the UN special representative for Libya.

“Turkey supports the UN-facilitated political process [..] A political solution is possible and necessary with the participation of all relevant actors in Libya,” the Turkish official said.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will hold official talks on the Libyan crisis during next week’s UN General Assembly gathering in New York, Kalin added.

Kalin underlined that a cease-fire must be declared, implemented and monitored as soon as possible in the country.

On the Syrian civil war, Kalin said: “All of our efforts under the leadership of the Turkish president are aimed at ending this war and implementing a political solution there.”

Criticizing European countries for approaching the issue only from the angle of refugee crisis, Kalin said: “Turkey cannot carry the burden of Syria alone.”

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have been killed and millions more displaced by the conflict.

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