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Turkey and Qatar sign military cooperation deal with Libya government

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar (R) meets with Qatari Defense Minister Khalid Bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah (L) and Libyan Deputy Defense Minister Saladin En-Nemrush (C), in Tripoli, Libya on 17 August 2020 [Arif Akdoğan/Anadolu Agency]
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar (R) meets with Qatari Defense Minister Khalid Bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah (L) and Libyan Deputy Defense Minister Saladin En-Nemrush (C), in Tripoli, Libya on 17 August 2020 [Arif Akdoğan/Anadolu Agency]

Turkey and Qatar have signed a tripartite deal with the Libyan government for military cooperation, in a new development set to enhance the government’s defence against the forces of Khalifa Haftar.

The agreement, which was announced by Libya’s Deputy Defence Minister Salam Al-Namroush yesterday, will establish military facilities and training programmes within the country. This cooperation will include Qatar’s funding of military training centres and the establishment of a trilateral coordination centre and Turkish naval base in the city of Misrata. Consultation will also be provided to Libyan government forces as part of the agreement.

The deal was struck after a visit and meetings between Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar, his Qatari counterpart Mohammad Al-Attiyah, and the Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj and other Libyan ministers yesterday. The representatives of the three countries then discussed a number of issues regarding trilateral relations and defence.

On his arrival in the capital Tripoli, Akar stated that, “We believe that we will achieve the wanted results by supporting our Libyan brothers in their just cause,” during his visit to the capital Tripoli.

READ: Turkey DM: Libya belongs to Libyans

On the same day, Tripoli was also visited by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas who made an unannounced arrival in which he gave a statement saying that he was to meet with officials of the UN-backed government in order to “talk about ways out of this very dangerous situation,” referring to the ongoing conflict within Libya.

Maas said that although there is currently little action on the frontlines between government forces and the forces of Khalifa Haftar, the world must not be deceived by the “deceptive calm” and must find a solution to the conflict.

The military cooperation deal is the latest such development in Turkey and Qatar’s long-time support for the Libyan government throughout Libya’s civil war, in which Haftar has also been backed by international and regional states such as France, Russia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, as well as various mercenary groups deployed by those countries.

READ: The UAE is working against Turkey, but for how long?

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