Arab League warns against ‘foreign interference’ in Libya

Pan-Arab body urges warring sides in Libya against ‘interference’ amid Turkish push to send troops.

The Arab League has called for efforts to “prevent foreign interference” in Libya in the wake of military and maritime agreements between Turkey and the UN-recognised government in Tripoli.

Permanent representatives of the pan-Arab organisation, in a meeting at its Cairo headquarters requested by Egypt, passed a resolution on Tuesday stressing the “necessity to prevent interference that could contribute to facilitating the arrival of foreign extremists in Libya”.

They also expressed “serious concern over the military escalation further aggravating the situation in Libya and which threatens the security and stability of neighbouring countries and the entire region”.

On Monday, the UN’s Libya envoy, Ghassan Salame, said the deals signed by Turkey and the Tripoli government represented an “escalation” of the conflict in the North African country.

Libya has been mired in conflict since a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 toppled and killed Muammar Gaddafi, with rival administrations in the east and the west vying for power.

In November, Ankara signed a security and military cooperation deal and also inked a maritime jurisdiction agreement with the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) based in the capital.

Turkey is currently trying to win parliamentary support for sending troops to Libya.

Egypt is one of renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar’s foremost foreign backers.

Cairo has been flexing its diplomatic muscles since Turkey signed accords with the Tripoli government last month.

Both sides in Libya have received foreign air support, mainly through drones, and Russian military contractors have been deployed on the front line to help Haftar’s forces in recent months, diplomats and analysts say.

Source: Al Jazeera

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