Have Qatar and Turkey violated the Recent Geneva “Libya” Agreement?

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The 5+5 Libyan Joint Military Commission (JMC) signed an agreement on Friday for a permanent ceasefire throughout the country.

According to the agreement, all mercenaries and foreign forces are scheduled to leave Libya within three months. Widespread international praise followed the announcement of the agreement, with the exception of Turkey which questioned the viability of the ceasefire.

The agreement was signed in Geneva by the rival delegations of the Libyan National Army (LNA), and the Government of National Accord (GNA). It stipulated the freezing of all military agreements, and the departure of military advisors, until a unified government was elected.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described the ceasefire agreement as lacking in credibility. Ankara also announced its decision to complete its training programs for GNA forces. Libyan media outlets published photos of the Turkish army with GNA forces in a military training centre in Libya.

On Sunday, Minister of Defense of the Government of National Accord (GNA) Salah Al-Namroush said that the ceasefire agreement signed by the two Libyan warring sides during the 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC) talks in Geneva does not extend to the military cooperation agreements previously signed with Turkey.

In a statement, Al-Namroush reaffirmed his government’s keenness to strengthen joint cooperation with Turkey, noting that dozens of GNA soldiers will continue to receive training in Turkey according to the military training and cooperation agreement already in place between both countries.

According to the Geneva agreement, both Libyan sides will evacuate frontlines from fighters and order foreign mercenaries to leave the country within three months from the signing date.
They also agreed to freeze the implementation of military agreements and ensure the departure of training crews until a unified government takes over.

The High Council of State (HCS) also said in a statement on Sunday that the ceasefire agreement will enable the return of flights between eastern and western Libya, lift force majeure from oil ports and put an end to the country’s institutional division.

“But it is an agreement between a legitimate force and a rebel force that tried to seize power by force,” the statement reads.

The HCS assured that this agreement does not mean implicit recognition of what it described as “the aggressor force” and will not affect the agreements concluded by the Government of National Accord (GNA) with Turkey.

On Monday, The GNA’s Interior Ministry also signed a memorandum of understanding with its Qatari counterpart. This is over cooperation in the fields of combating terrorism, drug trafficking, and money laundering. Observers have stated they believe that the security agreement between the GNA and Qatar is a clear violation of the Geneva agreement.

The signing of the MoU came during a visit by the GNA’s Minister of Interior, Fathi Bashagha, to Doha. He was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Siala, and held talks with the Qatari Emir, Tamim bin Hamad.

Libya Review reached out to UNSMIL for a comment on whether the UN considered the MoU between Qatar and the GNA a violation of the Geneva ceasefire agreement but did not receive a response.