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  • Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad (2-L) and Libya’s Foreign Affairs Minister Abdul-Hadi al-Hawaij (3-R) at the opening ceremony of the Libyan Embassy in Damascus, Syria, March 03, 2020.

    Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad (2-L) and Libya’s Foreign Affairs Minister Abdul-Hadi al-Hawaij (3-R) at the opening ceremony of the Libyan Embassy in Damascus, Syria, March 03, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 3 March 2020

Turkey's financing of mercenaries who support the tripoli government is undermining the truce agreed in January.

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad has established diplomatic ties with the government lead by Khalifa Haftar, the general who commands the Libyan National Army (LNA) in Libya.

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On Tuesday, Haftar's Foreign Minister Abdul-Hadi Al-Hawaij visited Damascus to sign a memorandum of understanding with his Syrian counterpart, Walid al Muallim, for the reopening of their diplomatic offices.

Through the full establishment of political and diplomatic relations with Haftar, Syria is further enhancing its differences with Turkey, a country that supports the UN-backed government led by Fayez Sarraj, which has lost control of most of the Libyan territory, although it still keeps Tripoli under its domain.

In 2012, when the Libyan civil war began, this African country closed its embassy in Damascus as a show of support for the Syrian president in his conflict with Turkey, which intervenes militarily in both Arab countries.​​​​​​​

The opening of the Libyan embassy in Syria occurs one day after the United Nations envoy for Libya, Ghassan Salame, resigned his post after more than two years of trying to mediate between the parties to the conflict.

Last week, the UN representative warned that the truce between the Libyan National Army and the forces of the Tripoli-based government ​​​​​​​was about to break.

"None of the three ways of negotiations (political, military and financial) can move forward positively while the cannons continue to operate, so we ask that the truce of January 12 be respected," Salame said.​​​​​​​

In recent weeks, Libya's civil war has deteriorated much more due to the interference of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who sent mercenaries to support the Tripoli-based government.​​​​​​

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