Turkish parliament gives go ahead for troop deployment in Libya

Turkey has pledged military support to the UN-backed Government of National Accord in Libya

Turkey has said it will deploy troops to Libya in line with a request for help by the internationally-recognised government in Tripoli
Turkey has said it will deploy troops to Libya in line with a request for help by the internationally-recognised government in Tripoli

The Turkish parliament has approved a resolution allowing the government to deploy troops in Libya in support of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord.

Turkey supports the GNA led by Fayyez Serraj, who has asked for military backing to fight off a nine-month offensive on the Libyan capital by General Khalifa Haftar.

Haftar and his self-styled Libyan National Army are backed by the eastern-based House of Representatives.

Serraj enjoys international recognition but commands little authority on the ground and is propped up by several militias.

Turkey is unlikely to immediately send soldiers to the North African state, opting initially for the deployment of military advisors and equipment. The parliamentary resolution approved today is valid for a year and allows the government to determine the scope of military engagement and when.

There is widespread fear that the deployment of Turkish troops could escalate the conflict in Libya where none of the opposing forces are strong enough to overcome each other.

Turkey wants to prevent Tripoli from falling into the hands of Haftar, who is backed by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

Egypt condemned the Turkish decision.

A spokesperson for EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell reiterated the bloc’s call for a political solution and warned that all members of the international community must respect the UN arms embargo on Libya. "All our diplomatic efforts will concentrate on preventing an escalation of conflict in Libya and to support the Berlin peace process," the spokesperson said.

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