LAAF condemns Erdogan’s pledge to deploy troops in Libya

Bassant Mohammed
4 Min Read

The adviser to the Speaker of the Libyan Parliament Fathi al-Marimi on Wednesday warned that a military confrontation with Turkey will be inevitable, if Ankara deployed its troops in Libya as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan promised Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA).

The Libyan parliament’s defence and national security committee condemned Erdoğan’s earlier statement on Monday about his willingness to send troops to Libya, calling on the Arab League to activate the Joint Arab Defence treaty.

Al Arabiya quoted Al-Marimi on Tuesday as saying, the disputed memoranda of understanding (MoU) between Turkey and GNA over maritime boundaries are not only a violation to Libya, but also the Mediterranean countries, including Egypt, adding that these countries must intervene to nullify the agreements.

Condemning the recent Turkey-GNA deals, Farag El-Mahdawi, the Chief of Staff of the Libyan Navy, threatened to sink any Turkish vessel that would approach the Libyan cost, in an interview with Greece’s ALPHA TV.

He added on the Monday interview that he was instructed that “once Turkish vessels arrive; I will sink them myself. I have this order from Haftar [commander of Libyan Arab Armed Forces].”

On the other hand, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced on Wednesday that “Turkey may conclude agreements with the Mediterranean countries, including Egypt, similar to the maritime agreement with Libya.”

Cavusoglu told Turkish broadcaster A Haber, “it is possible to conclude agreements with Lebanon, Greece, or Egypt if our interests are matched,” adding that Ankara can also work with all Mediterranean countries when conditions permit.

Asked about the Egyptian-Turkish relationships, he said that the relations between both countries are strained. However, Turkish businesspeople continue to work with Egypt, explaining that Turkey may reach an agreement with Egypt in the future.

Meanwhile, Ahmed al-Mesmari, the spokesperson of LAAF, said that the army has information that Mitiga International Airport, east of Tripoli, is getting ready to receive Turkish military supplies, asserting that the battle waged by the LAAF against terrorism is regional.

Al-Mesmari’s statement came one day after Erdogan’s pledge to send military forces to Libya if the GNA made such a request.   

Escalating the already tensed situation, Greece asked the UN on Tuesday to condemn the maritime agreement between Turkey and Libya. The Greek government demanded the agreement be presented to the UN Security Council with the aim of condemning it.

Since the signing of the disputed MoUs on 27 November, Greece strongly condemned it, saying the agreement is a violation of international maritime law and the rights of Greece and other countries.

Greece has also expelled the Libyan ambassador in Athens, considering the agreement as an elimination of some Greek islands from the map, adding that the agreement was “condemned by the United States, the European Union, Egypt, and Israel.”

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