Turkey wants Moammar Gaddafi to step down as the ruler of Libya, according to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, in the wake of discussions with both Libyan government officials and representatives of the opposition.
“We are not in favor of the Gaddafi family’s rule continuing in Libya. A new administration should be set up in line with the Libyan people’s demands,” an official from the Turkish Foreign Ministry told the Hürriyet Daily News, a Turkish newspaper based in Ankara.
On Tuesday, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met Mahmoud Jibril, a leader of Libyan opposition member, in Qatar to discuss a possible ceasefire in Libya.
“We are looking for common ground, a starting point but both sides [in the Libyan conflict] have lots of objections,” a Turkish official said. “Our efforts aim to achieve an immediate truce, then a political negotiation between the parties and a new administration that will take power following an election.”
The prior day, Davutoglu met with Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Abdelati Obeidi, with a message that Gaddafi wanted to end the civil war,
Separately, Turkish officials told Jibril that they were dismayed by anti-Turkish protests in Benghazi, Libya.
Rebel forces attacked the Turkish consulate in that city, and demanded the lowering of the Turkish flag. Protesters also blasted Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an as a “persona non grata.”
Last week, Erdogan insisted that Libyan rebels should not be armed by NATO.
Protesters in Benghazi chanted, “The revolutionaries want arms,” “Erdo?an don’t be blithe, look at Misrata” and “Erdo?an, don’t talk to Gaddafi.”
The protestors are saying that Erdogan disappointed them and are urging him to take his place alongside the Libyan revolutionaries, said Turkish Consul Ali Davuto?lu.
Turkey’s former ambassador to Libya, Ömer ?ölendil, was sent to Benghazi by Erdo?an to consult with Mustafa Abdul Jalil, head of the rebel group Transitional National Council.
“Jibril also expressed regret over the protests and said they could not control all the groups in Benghazi,” a Turkish official said.
Meanwhile, Turkey has taken control of the Benghazi airport in order to facilitate conduct humanitarian relief missions in Libya.
On Tuesday, two Turkish airplanes carried more than 500 wounded Libyans to Turkey for medical treatment.