Saturday, October 16, 2021

US envoy: Withdrawing Turkish and Russian forces from Libya remains a challenge

US envoy: Withdrawing Turkish and Russian forces from Libya remains a challenge

The US special envoy to Libya, Richard Norland, said that Russia and Turkey have shown they are ready to remove the Syrian mercenaries on both sides in Libya, but the withdrawal of Turkish and Russian forces remains a challenge.

“We believe that our talks with Russia and Turkey showed that they are ready to remove the Syrian mercenaries on both sides, but the withdrawal of Turkish and Russian forces remains a challenge,” Norland said in an interview with Aljazeera channel.

“The Russians and the Turks should realize that the withdrawal is in their interest so that the elements of sovereignty for the government and stability in the region are available,” the US envoy added. He noted, “The Joint Military Commission sets a vision for the departure of foreign forces, and we want to help build this vision with the participation of the United Nations.”

“We believe that there is a real interest in unifying the Libyan army and signs of coordination between government forces in the east and west, and the 5+5 Commission can play a role in this direction,” the US ambassador stated. “There are many Libyan political and military figures that can help unify the military institution, and General [Khalifa] Haftar is one of them, and that would be an excellent achievement,” he added.

Norland also said, “With the increase in stability in Libya, there has been talk about the circumstances in which it is possible to unfreeze the Libyan assets, which amount to many billions, that can benefit the Libyan economy. We hope that the American embassy will return to Tripoli soon, and we are considering the matter carefully and in stages.”