Following Moscow talks on Libya, President of the Libyan House of Representatives Aguila Saleh spoke with SEENews in Cairo.
On Jan. 12, the warring sides in the Libyan conflict announced a ceasefire in response to a call by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin. They gathered Monday in Moscow to sign an agreement aimed at ending hostilities and starting political dialogue.
In his exclusive remarks to SEE, Saleh revealed that the military option has become the better solution for the Libyan crisis at the moment. He also manifested that Moscow’s agreement did not specify any timetable for the truce.
What happened in Moscow?
As chief of the Libyan Parliament, I headed to Moscow, along with General Khalifa Haftar, Commander of the Libyan National Army, upon an invitation from President Putin.
We were asked to sign a joint cease-fire agreement with Fayez Al Sarraj who leads an illegitimate government in Tripoli. We refused that request for many reasons.
First: We don’t recognize the Tripoli’s government of Sarraj as his official term already finished.
Second: Turkey attended the talks and we believe that Ankara cannot play a neutral role in the Libyan crisis. Indeed, Turkey is part of the crisis, not part of the solution.
Third: The agreement did not include a timetable.
Is Commander of Libyan Army Haftar still in Moscow?
No, General Haftar is now in Libya where he is leading our national forces there. The Russian-Turkish initiative failed and we won’t get back to it again.
What happened at the Arab Parliament Session today?
We called on all Arab countries not to recognize the Government of National Accord (GNA) presidential council due to its violation of the constitutional declaration and the political agreement of Sukheirat. Thus, we reaffirmed that the agreement signed between Sarraj and Turkey is null and void as it has not been ratified by the parliament whose members were chosen by Libyans.
Thanks to Sarraj, a Turkish invasion has come to Libya.
The Libyan parliament is the only legitimate entity in Libya and there should not be any agreements without its approval and any agreement that is reached without its approval is null and void.
Hence, any violation of the constitutional declaration in Libya is a breach of its unity, safety and territorial integrity.
Did you call for a foreign military assistance from Italy?
No, we didn’t ask the Italians to send troops to Libya. In other words, we won’t accept that.
Turkish President Erdogan criticized Haftar for not signing Moscow’s truce… What do you say?
[Laughing]… I wonder how General Haftar is blamed for not accepting something that could harm Libyans. That truce agreement does not benefit the Libyan people so he decided not to accept a wrong deal. Besides, Erdogan says that Haftar “escaped” from Moscow. In fact, the word “escaped” can only be used if Haftar was arrested by the Russians.
He was not detained in Moscow, to describe his departure as an escape. This is nonsense.
Military Solution vs. Political Solution… which one does you prefer?
I believe that the political solution has failed as Turkey did not succeed to pull out terrorists and mercenaries from Libya throughout the past four years.
It’s the time to go for the military solution because our national army is fighting against terrorist groups and militias.
Sarraj has nothing to do at the moment as he does not have the upper hand.
On Sunday, Berlin will host a new failure summit on Libya as long as the international community does not propose a new path for the crisis.
What’s the decisive solution for the Libyan crisis?
It’s simple. Let’s hold free elections in the three provinces of Libya. Historically Libya is considered three provinces, Tripolitania in the northwest, Cyrenaica in the east, and Fezzan in the southwest.