Nayed: Before Turkey Pays Lip Service to a Ceasefire It Must First Stop the Flow of Terrorists into Libya – Al Marsad

Dr Aref Ali Nayed said he appreciated the firm stance Russia has taken against Turkey sending terrorists, troops, and weapons to Libya.

[Libya, 9 January 2020] – Dr Aref Ali Nayed, Chairman of the Libya Institute for Advanced Studies (LIAS) commented on Turkey’s call for a ceasefire an interview given today to the Russian news agency Sputnik. He said: “Before Turkey can pretend to call for any ceasefire, it must immediately stop the shipping of death to Libya, as it must respect the will of the Libyan people by respecting Libya’s Parliament, the duly elected by the Libyan people in 2014 as their sole and legitimate representative, in free and fair elections under the supervision of the UN.”

As for Russia’s call for a ceasefire, Nayed said it can be helpful “if it entails the GNA peacefully handing over the remaining areas of the capital Tripoli to the legitimate and duly elected Parliament of Libya and its Libyan National Army )LNA).” He added, “any ceasefire that would leave weapons in the hands of the militias that have kidnapped Tripoli since 2014 would neither be desirable or practicable.”

Nayed confirmed that the Libyan National Army forces, which liberated the city of Sirte completely, is now less than a hundred kilometers from the city of Misrata, while Misratan militias are already scrambling to get back to Misrata. Without Misratan forces, Nayed “the militias of Tripoli will very soon find it is better to negotiate to open the way to the LNA to the rest of the capital city.

He said: “Since the signing of the illegal agreements between Erdogan and Sarraj, the surge in popular support for the LNA has led to rapid LNA advances in Sirte and in Tripoli itself.” He added that the “LNA is already in Tripoli, and is only a few kilometers from its downtown.”

On the Italian efforts Nayed said the following: “I was in the Italian capital a few days ago, and held extensive discussions with Italian Foreign Ministry and Italian National Intelligence Service officials, and gave them an extensive explanation of the positioning of Libya’s duly elected Parliament, its legitimate and sworn government, and its Libyan National Army (LNA).” He said he made it clear to the Italians the large national role played by the Libyan National Army, which is affiliated with the Libyan Parliament, in unifying the country and restoring its security and stability.

With regards to international outreach that he has undertaken recently, Nayed said: “We have been in communication not only with Italy, but also with Egypt, Greece, Cyprus, France, and other countries in order to build up a consortium of resistance capable of blocking Turkey’s arrogant and invasive pretensions”.

Regarding the Italian position on the current crisis, Nayed revealed that the “new Italian government has built a solid base of trust with Libya’s Parliament and LNA, and has been striving to offer a mediation platform between Libyans. He said that it was out “of respect for Italy and the historical ties that bind the two nations that the Commander-in-Chief of the Libyan National Army, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar accepted an invitation to meet with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, as well visiting diplomats from the EU and the US in Rome.”

He added, “Italy may have extended other invitations to the GNA, and may have hoped for direct negotiations, but we must remember that the Libya’s Parliament and the Interim Government have spent years trying to reach a peaceful and political solution, yet the Government of National Accord (GNA) has procrastinated and reneged on its promises.”

At the end of his interview with Sputnik, Nayed stressed that the political will of the Tripoli-based GNA is mortgaged to the ideological militias and the Islamist government in Turkey, and that the GNA continues with its usual antics.

© Al Marsad English (2020)