Turkey on Saturday requested Russia to convince Libyan National Army general Khalifa Haftar to accept truce proposed by Ankara and Moscow that he has rejected. In a press conference, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told international media that Ankara is waiting for its Russian friends to succeed in convincing Haftar. The request came days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met his Russian counterpart in Istanbul on January 8 to discuss the ongoing conflict in Libya.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu accused "regional nations", a reference to Arab countries backing Haftar and also to France of opposing a ceasefire. Egypt and the United Arab Emirates are known for their support to general Haftar-backed Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) government elected in 2014, while Turkey, Sudan, and Qatar have supported GNA in the ongoing conflict. Tayyip Erdogan on January 5 announced that the Turkish military unit had started to move into Libya. Erdogan said that Turkish troops were moving in with the intention of supporting Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj's internationally-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).
United Nations-backed Libyan government in Tripoli had earlier welcomed the ceasefire initiative proposed by Turkey and Russia. The Tripoli-based General National Accord (GNA) government released a statement late Wednesday expressing its full support of “any serious calls for the resumption of the political process and the elimination of the specter of war." But later on the eve of the start date for the truce, UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez Serraj conditioned his government's participation in the proposed ceasefire to rival forces withdrawing from the outskirts of Tripoli, suggesting no immediate end to the country's civil war.
Cavusoglu on Saturday also said Turkey and Russia brokered a new ceasefire deal in Syria that has come into force from today in Idlib, the last rebel-held area in the northwest region of the war-torn country. Russia is an important ally of the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The Syrian conflict started in 2011 and has claimed more than 3,80,000 lives so far.