FM Mohamad Taher Siala says there has been no prior consultation with his government, and the meeting would "merely deepen the rift" between Arab governments on the conflict.

Oil-rich Libya has been torn by violence, drawing in tribal militias, militants and mercenaries since the 2011 toppling and killing of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi in a Western-backed civil war.
Oil-rich Libya has been torn by violence, drawing in tribal militias, militants and mercenaries since the 2011 toppling and killing of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi in a Western-backed civil war. (Getty Images)

Libya's UN-recognised unity government has said it will boycott talks on the conflict in the North African country to be held by Arab League foreign ministers next week.

Foreign Minister Mohamad Taher Siala told the bloc's executive council on Friday that the planned meeting would "merely deepen the rift" between Arab governments on the conflict, his ministry said.

The talks, to be held by videoconference because of coronavirus concerns, were called by Egypt, a key supporter of the Tripoli government's archfoe, warlord Khalifa Haftar.

Siala complained there had been no prior consultation with his government, even though the meeting concerned Libya, and said the virtual format of the meeting was not appropriate for addressing the thorny issues involved.

Read more: Why Egypt's options are shrinking in Libya amid Turkey's presence

PM Sarraj visits Algeria

Meanwhile, the head of Tripoli's Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez al Sarraj, visited Algeria on Saturday and had talks with President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, the official Algerian Press Service said.

According to the official Algerian TV network, Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad, Foreign Ministers Sabri Boukadoum and Interior Minister Kamel Beldjoud welcomed Libyan premier at the capital's Houari Boumediene Airport.

Al Sarraj's one-day visit is expected to focus on the latest developments in Libya.

Algeria, which is seeking to mediate a peaceful solution to the Libya war, shares a 1,000-kilometre border with Libya and has repeatedly denounced foreign interference in its eastern neighbour.

Turkey's demands Haftar leave Sirte

Also on Saturday, Turkey said warlord Haftar's militia need to withdraw from the strategic city of Sirte for a lasting ceasefire and accused France of "jeopardising" NATO security by backing him.

Ibrahim Kalin, the presidential spokesman, told AFP news agency that Turkey supports the position of the UN-recognised GNA in Tripoli and that Sirte and Al Jufra should be evacuated by Haftar's forces for a "sustainable ceasefire."

Kalin accused France of "jeopardising" NATO's security by supporting Haftar, whose forces have been conducting an offensive to take the capital Tripoli since last year.

"In Libya, we are supporting the legitimate government and the French government is supporting an illegitimate warlord and jeopardising NATO security, Mediterranean security, North African security and Libya's political stability," he said.

Egypt responded with a truce initiative that was welcomed by fellow Haftar supporters the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Saudi Arabia but was widely viewed as a bid to buy time for Haftar's militia to regroup.

The GNA and Turkey both dismissed the initiative and called for continued ceasefire negotiations under the aegis of the United Nations.

Washington too called for UN-led ceasefire talks.

Read more: Libyan army launches operation to liberate Sirte as Egypt proposes truce

Years-long conflict

Oil-rich Libya has been torn by violence, drawing in tribal militias, militants and mercenaries since the 2011 toppling and killing of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi in a Western-backed civil war.

The latest escalation has been marked by an uptick in foreign involvement.

Recent weeks have seen tensions rise between Turkey and France, which despite public denials has long been suspected of favouring Haftar until his recent setbacks.

The United Nations has urged outside powers to respect a deal reached at a January conference in Berlin, calling for an end to foreign meddling and upholding a much-violated arms embargo.

Read more: How many times has Haftar broken peace initiatives in Libya?

Source: TRTWorld and agencies