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Turkey says US needs to do more to achieve ceasefire in Libya

Mevlut Cavusoglu comments come as internationally recognised government and Khalifa Haftar restart UN-led ceasefire talks
Cavusoglu dismissed another ceasefire proposal introduced by Egypt earlier this week (AFP/File photo)

Turkey's foreign minister said the US needs to play a more active role in Libya, both in achieving a ceasefire and moving forward in political negotiations, as Libya's warring sides restarted UN-led ceasefire talks.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday that the US, a Nato ally of Ankara, should intervene to protect the alliance's interests. 

While Washington has previously said it opposes Khalifa Haftar's offensive against the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), it has not thrown its support behind them.

'The United States needs to play a more active role, both for achieving a ceasefire and in the political process'

- Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkish foreign minister

"For some reason, the United States has not been that active in Libya, perhaps because of past traumas," Cavusoglu said in an interview with broadcaster NTV.

"The United States needs to play a more active role, both for achieving a ceasefire and in the political process."

Cavusoglu added that Turkish and US officials would discuss taking the necessary steps, which were agreed upon during a phone call between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US President Donald Trump on Monday.

Negotiations were restarted after the GNA achieved multiple successes on the battlefield, repelling a 14-month campaign to take the capital led by forces loyal to Haftar, leader of the self-styled Libya National Army (LNA).

US welcomes UN peace talks

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed the resumption of UN-led talks and called for speedy negotiations to achieve a ceasefire.

"The agreement between the GNA and LNA to re-enter UN security talks was a good first step, very positive," Pompeo said in a news conference.

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"Quick and good-faith negotiations are now required to implement a ceasefire and relaunch the UN-led intra-Libyan political talks," Pompeo said.

Earlier this week, Cavusoglu dismissed another ceasefire proposal introduced by Egypt, saying that the plan was an attempt to rescue military commander Khalifa Haftar after his forces were defeated in their campaign to take the capital Tripoli.

Cairo's ceasefire call also proposesd an elected leadership council for Libya.

While Russia and the UAE supported Egypt's plan, Germany rejected the proposal, saying  the UN-backed talks were key to any peace process.