Turkish parliament to vote on sending troops to Libya

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country is responding to a request from help from the internationally-recognised Libyan government in Tripoli

Turkish President Recep Tayyap Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyap Erdogan

Turkish lawmakers will vote on a motion allowing the deployment of troops in Libya when parliament meets on 7 January, according to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan said Turkey would be responding to an invitation for help from the internationally-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez al-Sarraj.

"We will present the motion to send troops [to Libya] as soon as parliament resumes," Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara.

Turkey entered into a security and military cooperation deal with the Tripoli-based GNA but sending soldiers into Libya will require Erdogan to get approval in a separate motion.

Libya has plunged into factional conflict after the removal of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The GNA, which is recognised by the UN, is currently under siege by the self-styled Libyan National Army led by general Khalifa Haftar, who is aligned with the House of Representatives based in the country’s east.

The GNA has no army under its direct control but largely depends on sympathetic militias. In April, Haftar started laying siege on Tripoli but his forces have so far been kept at bay unable to capture the capital.

Turkey and Qatar back the GNA, while Haftar has received support from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Russia - all of whom have tense relations with Turkey.