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Sirte and Jufra airbase need to be turned over to GNA: Çavuşoğlu

Giving an interview to state broadcaster TRT Haber on Monday, Turkish Foreign Minister stressed in his comments that the coastal city of and Jufra airbase need to be turned over to the GNA before it agrees to a .

Agencies and A News WORLD
Published July 13,2020

Libya's internationally recognised Government of National Accord would not benefit if a ceasefire was declared in the country right now along the current frontlines, Turkey's foreign minister said on Monday.

In an interview with state broadcaster TRT Haber, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said that the coastal city of Sirte and Jufra airbase need to be turned over to the GNA before it agrees to a ceasefire.

Çavuşoğlu reiterated Turkey's aspirations of cease-fire in Libya and said: "We believe that a political solution is the only solution, but the necessary conditions must be met."

Libya has been torn by civil war since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Libya's new government was founded in 2015 under a UN-led agreement, but efforts for a long-term political settlement failed due to the military offensive by warlord Khalifa Haftar's forces.

The UN recognizes the Libyan government headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj as the country's legitimate authority.

Separately, he said Turkey would start seismic research and drilling operations for natural resources in the part of the eastern Mediterranean covered by a November agreement between Ankara and the GNA.

He added that Turkey was open to sharing with companies from third countries such Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States and Russia.


Regarding Turkey's recent decision to reconvert Istanbul's iconic Hagia Sophia into a mosque after serving decades as a museum, the minister said the country strongly rejects comments that try to intervene with country's the sovereignty rights on the decision.

Turkey will inform the United Nation's cultural body UNESCO about steps being taken regarding Istanbul's Hagia Sophia, Turkish top diplomat said in a statement, after Ankara converted the museum back into a mosque.

On Friday, a Turkish court annulled a 1934 Cabinet decree that had turned the Hagia Sophia into a museum, paving the way for its use again as a mosque after 85 years.

The court ruled that the architectural gem was owned by a foundation established by Sultan Mehmet II, the conqueror of Istanbul, and presented to the community as a mosque -- a status that cannot be legally changed.