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Haftar refuses Turkish-Russian ceasefire initiative, vows to continue fighting Libyan government Open in fullscreen

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Haftar refuses Turkish-Russian ceasefire initiative, vows to continue fighting Libyan government

Rogue General Haftar vowed to continue fighting the GNA [Getty]

Date of publication: 10 January, 2020

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Rogue Libyan General Khalifa Haftar has said that he will not stop fighting the internationally-recognized Libyan government, refusing to abide by a Russian-Turkish ceasefire initiative.

Rogue Libyan General Khalifa Haftar said on Thursday that he would not stop military operations against forces loyal to the internationally-recognized Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), even as he praised a ceasefire initiative by Ankara and Moscow.

In a statement read by his spokesman Ahmad al-Mesmari, Haftar claimed that a revival of the political process and the country's stability could only be assured by the "eradication of terrorist groups" and the dissolution of militia fighting on the GNA’s side.

An adviser to Haftar later told AFP that Haftar's position did not amount to a rejection of the ceasefire initiative, but rather "conditions that must be fulfilled" ahead of any truce.

Read more: Why Libya's proxy war might be about to flare up

Haftar's forces launched an offensive against the Libyan capital Tripoli in April, killing hundreds of people. A Haftar airstrike on a military academy last Sunday claimed the lives of 30 people.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin issued their call for a ceasefire on Wednesday in Istanbul.

Turkey supports the GNA while Russia has been quietly backing Haftar.

Haftar "hailed... President Vladimir Putin's initiative" in his statement Thursday, but stressed that the "efforts of the armed forces in the war against terrorists" would continue, his spokesman said.

"These groups have seized the capital and received the support of some countries and governments who supply them with military equipment, ammunition... and drones," he added.

"These countries also send terrorists all over the world to fight (Haftar's) armed force."

Haftar was referring to Turkey, which has recently sent some troops to shore up the GNA, while he also accused Ankara of sending pro-Turkish Syrian fighters to Libya.

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