Turkey says Libyan polls should be free, fair

Turkey's top diplomat has reiterated its support to Libya and underlined that the upcoming elections slated for the end of this year should be held in a free, fair and credible manner.

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu hosted Libyan Foreign Minister Najla Mangoush in the Turkish capital on Oct. 14 at a time when the rival Libyan parties are in efforts to compromise over the guidelines of the presidential elections slated to be held on Dec. 24. The Libyans are planned to go to vote for the parliament in late January 2022.

On Twitter, Çavuşoğlu said he discussed the Turkish-Libyan bilateral relations and the issues on the common agenda with visiting Libyan counterpart.

"Elections should be held in a free, fair and credible manner. [We] will continue to contribute to the stability and prosperity of Libya," he stated.

The elections will pave the way for the unification of Libya's two main groups, the Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli and the House of Representatives in Benghazi. The Libyan National Army under the command of General Khalifa Haftar supports the Benghazi rule and he is seeking to be nominated for the presidency. He recently stepped down from his military status.

Turkey has long been on the side of Tripoli and defended the U.N.-recognized GNA against the attacks by Haftar and its international backers, such as Russia's Wagner Group. The Libyan parties have recently discussed a road map for the withdrawal of the mercenaries and foreign troops from Libya.

Libya has long been suffering from an internal divide since the collapse of Gadhafi rule in 2011.

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