Libyan Official Calls For Turkish Backed Mercenaries to Remain in Libya

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The Head of the Libyan State Council, Khaled Al-Meshri, called to exclude Turkish forces and their mercenaries from the program to remove mercenaries and foreign forces.

This came in his meeting with French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, in the absence of the Foreign Minister of the Goverment of National Unity (GNU), Najla Al Mangoush.

Al-Meshri called to delay the exit of Turkish soldiers and Syrian mercenaries, claiming that they came based on what he described as “an invitation from the legitimate authorities.” In his words he was referring to the agreements signed between the Government of National Accord (GNA) and Erdoğan, to send Turkish soldiers and Syrian mercenaries to support the Government of National Accord’s (GNA) forces.

For his part, the French Foreign Minister stressed the need for all forces to leave simultaneously.

Al-Meshri claimed that the exit of what he described as “mercenaries and forces that are illegally present,” represents a threat to national security. He stressed the need for cooperation to find appropriate mechanisms with the 5+5 Joint Military Committee (JMC) charged with monitoring the ceasefire. He did not refer to thousands of the Syrian mercenaries who were former fighters of the Islamic State (ISIS) and al-Qaeda.