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Turkey’s Erdogan demands stand against ‘blood and chaos’ in Libya

Leaders from Russia, the West and Arab countries are gathering in Berlin.

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Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is heading for Berlin (Presidential Press Service via AP)

Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is heading for Berlin (Presidential Press Service via AP)

Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is heading for Berlin (Presidential Press Service via AP)

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on the international community to stand against the “merchants of blood and chaos”, as he headed to a Berlin summit seeking to resolve the Libya conflict.

Mr Erdogan supports the UN-backed administration in Tripoli led by Fayez Sarraj and sent troops to Libya earlier this month to help them in their battle with eastern-based forces led by General Khalifa Hifter.

He will join leaders from Russia, the West and Arab countries, as well as the heads of the opposing Libyan factions, in the German capital in a bid to halt nine months of fighting around the Libyan capital of Tripoli.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be among those attending.

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General Khalifa Hifter leads eastern-based forces in Libya (Petros Giannakouris/AP)

General Khalifa Hifter leads eastern-based forces in Libya (Petros Giannakouris/AP)

AP/PA Images

General Khalifa Hifter leads eastern-based forces in Libya (Petros Giannakouris/AP)

Speaking at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, Mr Erdogan said the world had failed to respond adequately to Gen Hifter’s “reckless attacks”.

He added: “Hopes that flourish again with the ceasefire and the Berlin summit should not be sacrificed to the ambitions of the merchants of blood and chaos.”

A truce sponsored by Turkey and Russia was imposed a week ago but sporadic fighting has continued.

On Friday, tribal groups loyal to Gen Hifter seized several large oil export terminals along Libya’s eastern coast as well as southern oil fields in another challenge to the Tripoli government,

Germany is bringing together key players in Libya’s long-running conflict in a bid to solidify the ceasefire and help relaunch a political process to determine Libya’s future.

Mr Serraj’s government is backed by Turkey, Qatar and Italy while Gen Hifter is supported by Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and France.

Russian military contractors have been fighting alongside Gen Hifter’s forces, although Moscow retains links to both sides in the conflict.

PA Media