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  • Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov at a news conference in Moscow, Russia Dec. 19, 2019.

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov at a news conference in Moscow, Russia Dec. 19, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 27 December 2019 (13 hours 46 minutes ago)
Opinion

The Kremlin warns that a foreign military intervention may be the worst option to achieve peace in Libya.

The Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov Friday rejected any foreign military presence in Libya after Turkey's President Recep Erdogan announced that he will send troops to Libya at the request of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), which is led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.

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"We believe that any interference by third countries in the situation [in Libya] will hardly contribute to settlement efforts," Peskov said and added that Russia does welcome any outside attempt to help the Libyan parties in conflict find a way out of the ongoing political crisis.

Similarly, the Russian Assembly's International Affairs Committee chairman Konstantin Kosachev questioned the option of a Turkish military intervention even if there is a cooperation agreement between the Erdogan administration and PM Al-Sarraj.

"Military intervention may be precisely the worst option," Kosache warned and pointed out that Erdogan's accusation that 2,000 Russian mercenaries are in Libya is a pretext to justify his military actions in the African country.

For his part, Peskov recalled that Libya has become a refuge for mercenaries due to the instability situation caused by some Western countries seeking to "destroy" the Libyan state.​​​​​​​

Set up in 2016 following a U.N.-brokered deal, the National Accord government is struggling to fend off General Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army, which has been trying to seize Tripoli.​​​​​​​

Since the death of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has lived in a civil war and become a country fragmented between two power centers.

On the one hand, in the country's western side, in Tripoli, the GNA has failed to control thousands of small irregular armed groups, although it has the support of the U.S. and other western countries.

On the other hand, about 1,000 km away from the capital, in Tobruk, the parliament elected in 2014 backs Haftar, who is also supported by irregular militias and tribal groups.​​​​​​​

Since April 4, when the Siege of Tripoli began, over 1,500 people have died, 5,000 have been injured and 100,000 have become internally displaced.

In this fragmented country, the international community's alliances with the direct actors in the conflict vary constantly depending on who controls the main natural resource in dispute: oil.

On Sep. 23, for instance, the U.S. stated that "for the sake of Libya's political and economic stability, as well as for the well-being of all its citizens," it exclusively supports the Libyan state oil company NOC, which is controlled by the Tripoli-based government.

The United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, United Arab Emirates, and Turkey joined that position.

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