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Erdogan: Turkey ready to send troops to Libya 

December 11, 2019 at 12:53 pm

President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the White House in Washington, US on 13 November 2019 [Halil Sağırkaya/Anadolu Agency]

Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has announced that he is prepared to deploy Turkish soldiers to Libya, should the UN-recognised government make the request.

During a televised interview on Monday, Erdogan disclosed “if Libya were to invite Turkey, of course Turkey would have the right to go to Libya as per the accord,” referring to last month’s deal signed with Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA), led by Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj. “We are prepared to give all manner of support to Libya,” Erdogan added.

This comes against developments that Libyan general, Khalifa Haftar, and his Libyan National Army (LNA) are edging closer to the capital, Tripoli, with support from Russian forces. “Haftar is not a national representative of Libya there, Sarraj is,” President Erdoğan asserted.

The Libya Observer noted that on the topic of Russian support to Haftar, Erdogan would talk to Russian president, Vladimir Putin, regarding the latest developments in Libya this week, so as to avoid another Syria scenario, while also adding that supporting Haftar is illegal as he is leading “illegitimate entities”.

On 27 November, Turkey and the GNA signed a bilateral memorandum of understanding (MoU). Following this bilateral agreement, the Greek government announced its expulsion of the Libyan ambassador to the country, describing the Turkey-Libya accord as a “blatant violation of international law.”

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