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Erdogan vows to protect Ottoman legacy after Field Marshal Haftar leaves Moscow without signing Libya ceasefire agreement

On January 14th, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar left Moscow without signing the Libya ceasefire.

After more than eight hours of talks, the head of Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj signed the deal.

The Libyan National Army’s Commander Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar left without signing the agreement, after asking for the night think it over, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

“The draft [agreement] ignores many of the Libyan army’s demands,” Haftar was quoted as saying by the Al Arabiya television network.

On his way back, Haftar’s airplane avoided Turkish airspace and flew a longer distance for that purpose.

On January 13th, inter-Libyan negotiations were held with the participation of representatives of the Russian Federation and Turkey.

The GNA Foreign Minister Mohamed Taher Siala told RIA Novosti, that the GNA delegation signed an agreement, and then went to Istanbul.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the Moscow talks on Libya “highly productive”, despite the refusal of the commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar to sign the ceasefire.

“Initially, Haftar said yes, and then no, and, unfortunately, he departed from Moscow without signing. Our colleagues put their signatures, we completed our part, the rest is in Mr. Putin’s field,” Erdogan said.

Erdogan noted that, despite this, he is ready to take part in the conference on Libya in Berlin on January 19th.

According to him, representatives of Germany, Russia, Italy, the United Arab Emirates and the United States will take part in the meeting to assess the situation.

Erdogan also stressed that Ankara is ready to “teach Haftar a lesson.”

“We will not hesitate to teach a lesson to the putchist Haftar if he continues his attacks on the country’s legitimate administration and our brothers in Libya,” he said.

Erdogan further said that Libya was a legacy of the Ottoman empire and that Turkey had to protect it.

“Libya is a legacy of the Ottoman Empire and we have our Kuloğlu children there. We must defend them.”

During the meeting, the parties discussed the possibility and conditions of de-escalation in the region, but failed to reach consensus.

The negotiations did not include the GNA and LNA leaders meeting face to face, but Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said there was “progress” and that Haftar viewed the ceasefire document “positively,” despite not signing it.

On January 14th, the LNA Spokesperson posted on Facebook that they were “ready and determined” to achieve victory in their months-long campaign to seize the capital from the GNA.

Clashes in Tripoli are continuing, currently at a smaller scale but the GNA reported that the LNA are positioning its forces to the south of Tripoli and preparing for an attack.