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The Libyan government does not want mercenaries to leave the Middle East “within a few days”

Libya’s Foreign Minister Najila Mangush stated that she hopes that foreign mercenaries will leave the North African country in the next few days.

The Libyan interim government expressed the hope that after peace talks with the world powers in Berlin, foreign mercenaries will withdraw from this North African country.

The UN-sponsored conference brought together Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Debebah, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Brinken, and the foreign ministers of France, Turkey, and Egypt to try to ensure lasting peace and ensure this conflict-ravaged The country continues to embark on the path of peace. The general election will be held in December.

Since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising toppled long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi, Libya has been in chaos. The country subsequently split into hostile governments: the United Nations-recognized Government of National Unity (GNA), headquartered in the capital Tripoli, and an independent government. The eastern government led by the rebellious military commander Khalifa Haftar. Each has received support from a series of militias and foreign forces.

After years of violent conflict, the two sides reached a ceasefire in October and supported the formation of a transitional government to lead the country’s elections. But the United Nations estimates that about 20,000 foreign fighters and mercenaries are still in Libya—a presence that is seen as a threat to the December polls.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (left), Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Debeba, Libyan Foreign Minister Nagira Mangush (second from right) and UN Deputy Secretary for Political Peacebuilding Affairs President Rosemary DiCarlo attends the 2nd Libya International Conference in Berlin, Germany [Sean Gallup/Getty Images]

Libyan Foreign Minister Najira Mangush said on Wednesday that progress has been made on the issue of foreign mercenaries.

“Hopefully in the next few days, the mercenaries from both sides are (are) withdrawing. I think this will be encouraging,” Mangush told reporters after the meeting. talks.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that he believes that Turkey and Russia, which support both sides of the conflict, will reach an understanding that any withdrawal will gradually maintain balance and will not happen overnight.

Rosemary DiCarlo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, pointed out that the whole process “will take some time.”

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (right) welcomes the Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Debeba (left) to attend the meeting [Michael Sohn/Pool via AP Photo]

Unfulfilled promise

The effort to end the decade-long cycle of violence in Libya was the second round of negotiations in Berlin, after the presidents of Turkey, Russia, and France participated in the first meeting in January 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic.

Participants at the 2020 conference have agreed to end international intervention and withdraw foreign mercenaries. But both Moscow and Ankara have important forces in the country, but neither has fulfilled their promises.

The Russian mercenaries supporting the Haftar side in the eastern part of the country are still in place, while Turkey has troops in Tripoli, which it believes are dispatched under a bilateral agreement with the government, which means they are not affected by the withdrawal of foreign troops. .

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (left) and Libyan Foreign Minister Nagira Mangush attend a joint press conference after the meeting [Michael Sohn/Pool via AP Photo]

A few details

Al Jazeera’s Adam Rani reported in Berlin that he said officials did not provide details on the next step.

“The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Libya said that it is time to take concrete actions. Other parties have expressed some goals, such as getting foreign fighters to withdraw, integrating militias into a unified Libyan army, or holding elections in December to establish a stable and Peaceful Libya,” he said.

“But we still haven’t heard too many details about making this possible,” he added.

Al Jazeera’s diplomatic editor James Beth said that the purpose of this meeting is to maintain the momentum for the elections scheduled for December 24.

“The purpose of this meeting is to push all parties involved… the international community hopes to maintain the momentum of progress in Libya,” he added.

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