The Turkish Foreign Ministry has confirmed the release of seven Turkish citizens, who were being held by Haftar's forces, in the eastern region of Libya, indicating that they have been brought back safely to Turkey.
“The condition of our citizens has been constantly monitored with efficient cooperation between all our relevant agencies and institutions, particularly our embassy in Tripoli and the National Intelligence Organization, and intense efforts were exerted for the safe release of our citizens,” the ministry said in a statement.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry thanked the Libyan and Qatari governments and all other institutions that contributed to the process of the release of its citizens, according to the statement.
A source, who preferred to remain anonymous, confirmed that the negotiations for the release of the Turkish citizens were led directly by the Qatari government and in contact with Saddam Haftar, the son of Khalifa Haftar, who led the negotiations on behalf of his father, adding that a ransom was paid by Qatar to Haftar's militia after the Turkish authorities refused to pay.
The source also confirmed that negotiations are still ongoing between Haftar's camp and the Turkish authorities through several mediators, which may lead to the reopening of the Turkish consulate in Benghazi and the normalization of relations between the authorities of eastern Libya and Turkey.