Issued on: 09/07/2020 – 17:25
In an interview with FRANCE 24, Mohammed Ali Abdallah – a senior adviser to Libya’s Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez al-Sarraj – ruled out any negotiation with eastern strongman Khalifa Haftar or anyone close to him. He also warned that although the GNA was eager to find a political solution, it would not hesitate to push its military offensive towards the strategic town of Sirte.
Speaking to FRANCE 24 from Washington, Ali Abdallah brushed aside the threat of military intervention by Egypt, if the GNA moves towards the Libyan town of Sirte, as “a joke”. He stressed that Egypt had already been intervening in Libya as the main platform for African and Russian mercenaries fighting alongside Haftar’s forces.
The senior adviser to the GNA claimed that many countries, including France, who had supported Haftar were now realising they had “bet on the losing horse”. He also blasted the UAE for its role in the conflict, saying the government would not accept the UAE in “any political dialogue” on Libya in the future.
Reacting to the deployment of Turkish troops to support the GNA’s forces, Ali Abdallah claimed the agreement with Turkey was a legal one. He said that it did not include the establishment of permanent Turkish military bases in Libya but added that if this step was necessary to stabilise the country, it could be decided. He also argued that countries like France who have their own grievances with Turkey should not use the Libyan conflict to settle scores.
Finally, he said he regretted that Turkey had brought in Syrian mercenaries to fight on the government’s side and held out hope that they would leave, while firmly denying reports that Yemeni fighters had recently been brought in to shore up the government forces.