US calls for withdrawal of Russian, Turkish forces from Libya
The deadline for the withdrawal of foreign forces and mercenaries expired last Saturday
The United States called for the immediate withdrawal of Russian and Turkish forces from Libya after the deadline for their withdrawal was ignored.
“We call on all external parties, including Russia, Turkey and the UAE, to respect Libya’s sovereignty and immediately end all military intervention in Libya,” US Charge d’Affaires at the UN Richard Mills said at a meeting of the Security Council on Libya.
In accordance with the ceasefire agreement signed on October 23 with the support of the UN, foreign troops and mercenaries had to leave Libya within three months. This deadline expired on Saturday, but there was no announcement or movement on the ground..
“In line with the October ceasefire agreement, we call on Turkey and Russia to immediately begin withdrawing their troops from the country and removing foreign mercenaries and military puppets they recruit, finance, deploy and support in Libya,” Mills said..
UN estimates there are about 20,000 foreign soldiers and mercenaries in Libya.
Turkey is the main patron of the Tripoli-based government, which enjoys UN backing, while the UAE, Russia and Egypt support the forces of military commander Khalifa Hifter, which control much of the east and south of the country..
Last year, UN experts said the Wagner Group, a Russian private military company, provided Haftar with between 800 and 1,200 mercenaries. According to the diplomats of the Security Council, there are also thousands of mercenaries from Syria, Sudan and Chad in Libya..
Mills made it clear that the Biden administration supports the rival Libyan parties’ demands for an end to military intervention and the withdrawal of foreign forces and mercenaries, as outlined in the October 23 ceasefire agreement..
“The outside forces that are conducting military intervention in this conflict have completely ignored the demands of the Libyans,” he said..
Mills also stressed: “It is very important that the Libyan people and the international community take all necessary steps to prevent destructive forces from getting in the way of this political transition.”.
The Russian mission to the UN stated that there are no Russian military personnel on Libyan territory and Russia does not conduct any military intervention in Libya.
The statement notes that Moscow cannot completely rule out the presence of Russian citizens in Libya as mercenaries, but the call for their withdrawal should be addressed to those who hired them..
Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation Vasily Nebenzya in his speech to the Security Council did not mention the presence of foreign fighters in Libya at all.
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Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that “Libyans are making remarkable efforts to unite” and stressed that it is “imperative” that all foreign troops and mercenaries leave the country..
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