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  • Members of Libya's internationally recognized government forces carry weapons in Ain Zara, Tripoli, Libya October 14, 2019.

    Members of Libya's internationally recognized government forces carry weapons in Ain Zara, Tripoli, Libya October 14, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 1 January 2020

The Turkish Vice President said if the Libyan National Army committed to halting their offensive in Tripoli,  "then, why would we go there?"

Turkey may not send troops to Libya after all, as the Turkish Vice President stated on Wednesday that Ankara is willing to reconsider this move if the forces loyal to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar halt their operation in Tripoli.

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Speaking to the state-owned Anadolu Agency, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said, "after the bill passed from the parliament...it might happen that we would see something different, a different stance and they would say 'okay, we are withdrawing, dropping the offensive'."

Oktay said if the Libyan National Army committed to halting their offensive in Tripoli,  "then, why would we go there?"

The Turkish Vice President added that Ankara hoped the Turkish bill would send a deterrent message to the warring parties, in particular, to the Benghazi-based government. 

Turkey has made the decision to move up their parlimentary vote on whether or not to send troops to Libya. This decision comes after the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) called on Ankara to deploy their troops to Libya in order to help them prevent the Libyan National Army from capturing the capital. 

While Turkey has not sent troops to Libya, they have signed a security agreement with the GNA to protect the capital from the ongoing threat posed by the Libyan National Army. 

Ankara has already sent military supplies to the GNA despite a United Nations embargo, according to a UN report seen by Reuters, and has said it will continue to support it.

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