Turkey to send troops to Libya, upon invitation, Erdoğan says

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that Turkey will introduce a bill to send troops to Libya as soon as the Parliament resumes, in response to the country’s invitation.

Erdoğan said the military mandate to send troops to Libya will be on the parliament’s agenda when it resumes on Jan. 8-9.

He criticized countries supporting the East Libya-based warlord Khalifa Haftar rather than Fayez al-Sarraj.

“They support a warlord but we support the legitimate government and accept their invitation to send troops. This is what makes us different,” Erdoğan said.

The president reiterated Turkey’s determination to provide the necessary assistance to the Tripoli administration, which he said is fighting against “putschist commander Haftar, supported by various European, Arab countries.”

Erdoğan continued by saying that Turkey has historic and brotherly ties to the Mediterranean and North African regions and developments in those areas directly affect the country. He noted that Libya was particularly important to the Ottoman Empire and the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

“Gazi Mustafa Kemal mobilized our brothers and sisters in the Tripoli, Benghazi and Derna areas against the occupying forces and fought with them,” Erdoğan said, adding that he sustained an injury to his eye during the clashes in Derna.

The president highlighted that the people of the region always loved one another and have close ties and the proximity of the countries allows them to enjoy multilateral relations.

“The steps we have taken [with Libya] fully comply with international law,” Erdoğan said, adding that the only goal of the deal is to ensure that Turkey’s rights in the Eastern Mediterranean are not violated.

Turkey’s Parliament approved a security and military deal with Libya’s U.N.-supported Government of National Accord (GNA) on Saturday.

The deal allows Turkey to provide military training and equipment at the request of the Libyan government, which controls the capital, Tripoli, and some of the country’s west.

Erdoğan also urged Europe to take action in the face of a humanitarian crisis in Syria’s Idlib province.

“European countries need to shoulder the responsibility to ensure stability in Idlib and prevent another wave of mass migration,” Erdoğan said, noting that Turkey has consistently told European and world powers that they will all have to pay the price if they do not take action and support efforts to ensure calm in the Idlib area.

The president noted that the Assad regime’s persistent attacks prevent the perpetuity of the cease-fire in Idlib, forcing hundreds of thousands of civilians to head toward the Turkish border.

Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said earlier this week that Ankara is talking to Moscow with the aim of reaching a new cease-fire after increased bombardment in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province.

There has been an increase in violence in the area around Idlib, as Assad regime forces launched a fresh assault to capture the city center.

There are around three million people, including many who were displaced as a result of yearslong conflict in other parts of Syria and sought refuge in Idlib.

Source: Daily Sabah

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