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  • A member of Libya's internationally recognised government forces carries a weapon in Ain Zara, Tripoli, Libya October 14, 2019.

    A member of Libya's internationally recognised government forces carries a weapon in Ain Zara, Tripoli, Libya October 14, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 24 December 2019
Opinion

From 2014 and on, Libya has had two political power centers the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli, and another government in Tobruk, an eastern city.

Turkey may need to draft a bill to allow for troop deployment to Libya and its parliament is working on the issue, Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Tuesday after Ankara signed a military cooperation agreement with Tripoli last month.

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"There might be a need for authorization in line with the developments over there. The parliament is conducting work on this issue," Kalin said at a news conference in Ankara.

Turkey supports the United Nations'-backed Libya's Fayez al-Serraj's Government of National Accord (GNA) and has said it could deploy troops there if it receives such a request. Libya's Tripoli-based government has been fighting with General Khalifa Haftar's Libya National Army's (LNA) based in the east of the country.

Haftar's LNA has received support from Russia, Egypt, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates. From 2014 and on, Libya has had two political power centers, the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli, that is having a hard time governing the capital city and some western areas, and another government in Tobruk, an eastern city which has remained under Haftar's control.

"We will continue to support the internationally recognized Libyan government. This support may be in terms of military training, or other areas, such as political support," a Turkish official said.

Speaking in Ankara after a cabinet meeting, Kalin added that Turkey would continue to provide the necessary support to Fayez's Tripoli-based government. Turkey has already sent military supplies to the government despite a U.N. arms embargo, according to a report by U.N. experts seen by Reuters last month.

On Sunday, President Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey would increase its military support to Libya if necessary and would evaluate ground, air, and marine options.

Last week, Russia said it was very concerned about Turkey's potential troop deployment in Libya, adding that the military accord between the two countries raised questions. A Turkish delegation traveled to Moscow on Monday to discuss developments in Libya and Syria.

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