Published: Wed, November 14, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

'Excluded' Turkey pulls out of Libya crisis talks: VP

'Excluded' Turkey pulls out of Libya crisis talks: VP

The Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), headquartered in Tripoli, is asking the United Nations to unfreeze Libyan assets to avoid depreciation, Ali Issawi, the GNA's economy and industry minister, told journalists on the sidelines of the Palermo Conference for Libya.

We welcome the conference for Libya held in Palermo today (13 November), which reaffirmed wide global support for the next steps in implementing the UN Action Plan, as set out by SRSG Salamé in his 8 November briefing to the UN Security Council.

The rival leaders have not met since May.

There were no announcements of major diplomatic breakthroughs, but Serraj's spokesman said on Twitter the prime minister was committed to a United Nations road map to hold an election in the spring after a constitutional framework is put in place.

Turkey has withdrawn from a two-day summit about Libya that is being held in Italy with "deep disappointment", Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay told reporters on Tuesday, objecting to what he said was Ankara's exclusion from some of the talks.

There was skepticism on how much progress might be made toward stability at the conference in a luxury seaside hotel in large part because it wasn't clear if a key player, Gen. Khalifa Hifter, commander of the self-styled Libyan National Army with a power base in eastern Libya, would meet with his Libyan rivals in plenary sessions set for Tuesday.

Haftar arrived in Italy on Monday, but just held meetings with heads of neighboring states to discuss the latest regional and worldwide developments, the statement explained.

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Eastern Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar joined several other key national and global players for talks on the sidelines of the Palermo conference aimed at stabilising the crisis-stricken North African nation.

"This attitude cuts both ways because it has a sensational effect that momentarily ups his value, but his interlocutors who are humiliated by this will always remember", he said.

The conference kicked off on Monday evening with an official dinner.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and his Tunisian counterpart, Beji Caid Essebsi, are among a number of leaders who are attending the conference.

But diplomatic wrangling between Italy and France also hangs over this summit.

Rome and Paris have for months been at loggerheads over Libya's election timetable.

According to diplomats and analysts, Russia, France, Egypt and the UAE support Haftar, while Turkey and Qatar have thrown their weight behind rivals to the eastern strongman, especially Islamist groups.

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