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Erdogan: ‘Egypt's movements in Libya illegal, UAE conducts piracy activities’ 

July 18, 2020 at 11:25 am

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks at the Turkish Grand National Assembly in Ankara, Turkey on 15 July, 2020 [Ali Balıkçı/Anadolu Agency]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday accused Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) of taking “illegal and unacceptable” steps in Libya.

Erdogan stated that Turkey “will continue to assume the responsibility it undertook in Libya” and “will not let the Libyans face military aggression alone.”

The Turkish president strongly criticised Egypt and the UAE’s support for the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by General Khalifa Haftar, stating: “The steps taken by Egypt and its support for Haftar are illegal. On the other hand, Abu Dhabi is committing piracy crimes by sending money and weapons to Haftar illegally and this is unacceptable… while we are standing with a legitimate government fighting coupists.”

Erdogan stressed that Turkey is currently studying the possibility of signing a new agreement with the Government of National Accord (GNA) as an outcome of the Skhirat Agreement, in addition to two other accords that were concluded by the two parties last year.

Egypt and the UAE are Haftar’s most important regional allies, while Turkey provides military support to the GNA, which was formed under the Skhirat Agreement and is based in the capital, Tripoli.

READ: Libya pro-Haftar tribal leaders to meet with Egypt’s Sisi in Cairo

Libya has recently witnessed rapid field developments as the GNA forces managed to make tangible field progress and extended its control over the suburbs of Tripoli and the strategic city of Tarhuna, while Haftar’s forces retreated to the city of Sirte, where clashes are underway to control it.

The Libyan parliament, headed by Aguila Saleh, recently asked Egypt to intervene militarily in Libya in order to: “Preserve the national security of the two countries.”