Tripoli government leaves talks after attack

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Following an attack on the Port of TripoliLibya‘s UN-recognized government is withdrawing from the UN-hosted military committee talks in Geneva until a determined stance is taken against the violations by warlord Khalifa Haftar‘s forces.

The government denied the presence of any Turkish ship at Tripoli’s port which was bombed by militias of Haftar on Feb. 18.

The Government of National Accord’s Ports Directorate stated that Haftar’s forces struck the Port of Tripoli with missiles on Fen. 18, according to Libyan Panorama T.V. channel.

Also, Mustafa al-Mujie, spokesman for Operation Volcano of Anger, a military campaign launched by government forces, said the Haftar attack left a number of commercial vessels and goods in flames, denying reports that claimed a Turkish ship or ammunition warehouse was targeted.

It added that the port was used only for civilian purposes, and that it did not contain any military equipment when it was bombed.

T.V. channels affiliated with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates claimed that the bombing targeted a Turkish ship while it was transporting weapons to Libya.

Meanwhile, in a statement on Feb. 19, the Government of National Accord (GNA) Presidential Council announced the suspension of GNA participation in the ceasefire talks due to Haftar’s forces’ attack on the port in the capital.

On Feb. 19, a joint military commission representing Libya’s UN-recognized government and Haftar’s forces began a second round of talks for a possible solution, but then the ceasefire was again violated due to Haftar’s forces attacking the port.

The council said the port is vitally important for people to receive basic necessities such as food and medicine, accusing Haftar’s forces of committing war crimes.

The council also stressed that if the international community really wants stability in Libya, the cease-fire decisions must be implemented.

It said as long as the capital is not safe and the people who want to return their homes cannot do so, talk of a permanent cease-fire is meaningless.

The GNA’s Ports Directorate said Haftar’s forces struck the Port of Tripoli with missiles during the cease-fire negotiations.

Libya’s legitimate government has been under attack by Haftar’s forces since last April, and more than 1,000 people have been killed in the violence.

Hurriyet Daily News

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