Turkey’s parliament has authorised President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to send military forces to Libya in order to support the UN-backed government against General Khalifa Haftar.
Turkey’s move is likely to complicate the war in Libya which has been beset by a civil war since 2013 after a disagreement on the election results.
Late on Thursday the leaders of Cyprus, Greece and Israel called Turkey’s bill allowing troop deployment in Libya a dangerous escalation in the North African country’s civil war and severely threatens stability in the region.
“This decision constitutes a gross violation of the UNSC resolution… imposing an arms embargo in Libya and seriously undermines the international community’s efforts to find a peaceful, political solution to the Libyan conflict,” Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and President Nicos Anastasiades said in the statement.
The Turkish parliament overwhelmingly approved a bill that allows troops to be deployed in Libya, in a move that paves the way for further military cooperation between Ankara and Tripoli but is unlikely to put boots on the ground immediately.
Turkey’s move comes after Ankara and the internationally recognised government of Libyan Prime Minister, Fayez al-Serraj signed two separate agreements in November: one on security and military cooperation and another on maritime boundaries in the eastern Mediterranean, infuriating Greece, Israel, Egypt and Cyprus.
The three countries also called on Turkey to refrain from sending troops to Libya, which would violate Libyan national sovereignty and independence.
Foreign Minister, Nicos Christodoulides has held a telephone conversation with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry about the latest developments in Libya, the Cyprus News Agency reported on Friday.
The Egyptian minister also held calls with his Greek, Saudi Arabian and UAE counterparts.
According to an announcement from the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, he discussed the “dangerous escalation of the Turkish side” regarding Libya.
“The Foreign Ministers agreed on the dangerous consequences of recent developments and the decision of Turkey to send troops to Libya, which have consequences for Arabic security, regional security, Mediterranean security and the stability of the entire region,” the statement said.
– CYPRUS MAIL