Turkey ready to broker cease-fire over fears Libya may turn into “second Iraq or Afghanistan”

March 28th, 2011 - 3:22 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Mar 28 (ANI): Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has signalled that his country is ready to become a mediator to help attain an early ceasefire in Libya over fears that the country could turn into a “second Iraq” or “another Afghanistan”.

The Guardian quoted Erdogan as saying that talks were still under way with Muammar Gaddafi’s government and the Transitional National Council.

He also revealed that Turkey is about to take over the running of the rebel-held Benghazi harbour and airport to facilitate humanitarian aid, in agreement with NATO.

Erdogan’s comments came as NATO leaders met in Brussels to finalise arrangements for the alliance with Turkey’s participation to take over the enforcement of the UN no-fly zone from Tuesday, and also for the more controversial air strikes against Gaddafi’s ground forces, the paper said.

Turkey, which has the second largest armed forces within NATO, had earlier described the idea of NATO intervention as “nonsense”. However, it has now agreed to participate in a non-combat role in the wake of the UN security resolutions and Arab League appeal.

“We have been opposed to any unilateral action and we could never accept appeals such as that by the French minister for a new crusade,” the paper quoted Erdogan, as saying.

“Turkey’s role will be to withdraw from Libya as soon as possible” and “restore the unity and integrity of the country based on the democratic demands of the people”, he added. (ANI)

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