We met with the National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar yesterday morning over breakfast, after which we had the opportunity to ask a few questions regarding the situation in Libya and the latest developments.
When I asked about how he, from his view, approaches the question of “what business do we have in Libya?” He said:
“That place had for years been part of the homeland. There’s population of Turkish origins. Libya is right across from us, our neighbor across the sea, turning a blind eye to what’s going on there is out of the question.”
“We’re talking about a UN-recognized government. We’re naturally going to side with them. The question of why we’re there will be paid no mind,” he continued.
Has the ceasefire collapsed?
The most important question today regarding Libya was then asked. Where does the ceasefire called for by Turkey and Russia and was supposed to start at midnight on Jan. 12 stand?
Akar discredited reports claiming that the ceasefire had collapsed, saying that taking into account the information he received from the ground through special communication channels told a different story.
“News about the ceasefire ending on the field are false. They do not reflect the reality on the ground.”
On Monday, after hours of deliberations in Moscow, while a positive atmosphere started to take hold, we woke up the next morning to news of Haftar leaving Russia without signing the agreement.
We’ll come to the question of what led to that in a second, but first let me share a quick thought.
Ankara is resolved to find a solution to the points of contention between the Libyan parties through negotiations.
Hopes are now placed on the Berlin summit to be held on Jan. 19.
Addressing the planned summit, the Defense Minister said that “a result will be attained from there.”
The same country was too behind this sabotage: UAE
It can be said that the initiatives taken by Ankara together with Russia at every stage with regards to Libya have served to produce an advantageous climate for Turkey in inention and action alike.
The bill to protect Tripoli through all means possible that was passed at the parliament served as a “deterrent.”
Meanwhile, Putin visiting Istanbul immediately after the bill was passed, and stating that “a solution will be found through diplomacy,” served as a strong “declaration of will.”
The question that comes to mind is what transpired that night in Moscow to request “time til the next morning” at a moment where it was said an agreement would be signed.
Who were the actor(s) that forced Hafter to leave Moscow?
Minister Akar refrained from giving his take by naming names regarding this part of the question, however, I can say that there’s a belief in Ankara that leans towards the UAE being the country behind the sabotage.
There’s a similar belief in Libya, as Khaled al-Mishri, head of the Libya’s Supreme Government Council had made a statement saying “the United Arab Emirates has blocked the ceasefire in Libya.”
We know very well that Haftar’s top arms supplier is the United Arab Emirates.
Additionally, the Dubai administration is following Ankara’s every move like its shadow, it’s becoming clear that they’re on the counterattack immediately after every initiative Turkey takes in order to poison them.
It’s good to keep in mind how the bilateral efforts of Turkey and Russia to secure a ceasefire in Libya have illicited great discomfort in these circles.
150,000 SYRIANS ‘WILLINGLY’ RETURNED TO THE PEACE SPRING REGION
National Defense Minister Akar’s statements about the recent developments in Syria and the Peace Spring region figured prominently in the discussion.
So far 150,000 Syrians willingly returned to regions that have been cleansed from the YPG by Turkey.
Let’s put an emphasis under the term “willingly.”
Because as a matter of fact, the people who fled regions that are under the control of the regime, and despite struggling to make ends meet, they would not return to where they came from because they don’t trust the Assad regime.
That’s what it means right there.
Since the breakout of the Syrian war, Turkey has always been the only country that people who were forced to leave their homes would look to for any hope of ever returning.
In other words, people would only willingly return to areas that Turkey had secured.
Do you see the paradox?