The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss Turkish President Erdogan’s announcement to provide military backing for Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA), saying in a speech in Ankara that he will present the Turkish parliament with the motion so that it can vote on the deployment legislation in January.
“We will present the motion to send troops [to Libya] as soon as parliament resumes” on January 7. “God willing, we will pass it in parliament on January 8-9 and thus respond to an invitation” from the Tripoli-based GNA,” Erdogan said.
Erdogan’s announcement came a month after Turkish and Libyan officials, led by GNA Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj, signed a memorandum of understanding on security and military cooperation.
None other than US President Donald Trump has stood up against foreign intervention in Libya, warning his NATO ally Turkey that its planned military deployment could make the situation in the North African country worse.
During the phone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday, “President Trump pointed out that foreign interference is complicating the situation in Libya,” the White House said in a statement.
No further details were given, but the call took place just after the Turkish legislature voted 325 to 184 to approve sending troops to the North African country, in order to prop up Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and his Government of National Accord (GNA).
Though the GNA is the internationally recognized government of Libya, most of the country is actually controlled by a rival government in Tobruk and troops of the Libyan National Army (LNA) loyal to General Khalifa Haftar. The GNA has been reduced to the area around the capital, Tripoli, which the LNA has sought to capture since April 2019.
Readout of the call given by Erdogan’s cabinet merely said the two leaders had “stressed the importance of diplomacy in resolving regional issues,” without making it clear whether Washington endorsed Ankara’s decision or opposed it.
Erdogan’s bid to back Tripoli against Tobruk resembles his power play in northern Syria in October, in that it is apparently unilateral and neither coordinated nor cleared with its NATO allies. One major distinction is that the Syrian incursion was aimed against the legitimate government in Damascus, as well as the US-backed Kurdish militias.
Trump advising against “foreign interference” is of course ironic on a whole different scale, given the US assertion of a free hand to intervene anywhere, anytime, against anyone – from illegally keeping troops in Iraq and Syria to launching a regime-change operation in Libya itself, back in 2011. At the time, NATO bombers provided cover for militants to overthrow the government of Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi and plunge Libya into chaos from which it has yet to recover.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.