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EU condemns Turkish intervention in Libya



European Union on Turesday, condemned Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s plan to deploy Turkish forces in Libya,

European Union on Tuesday, condemned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s plan to deploy Turkish forces in Libya, calling it an attempt to escalate the ongoing crisis in Libya. The EU chief for foreign policy, Josep Borrell, held a meeting with foreign ministers of European powers including Britain, Italy, Germany, and France, to build pressure on Turkey, preventing it from sending troops to Tripoli and demanding to achieve a ceasefire in Libya.

After the meeting, Borrell told reporters, “We asked for a ceasefire and we asked also to stop the escalation and to end external interference, which has been increasing in the last days.”

Borrell added, “It is obvious that this made a reference to the Turkish decision to intervene with their troops in Libya, which is something that we reject.”

The foreign ministers released a joint statement, saying, “The EU is of the firm conviction that there is no military solution to the Libyan crisis and that a protracted conflict will only bring more misery to ordinary people.” They added that ‘outside interference is fuelling the crisis’ in Libya, and would be a “detriment” to Libya’s national interests and of regional stability.

Earlier this month, the Turkish president announced that he would be sending troops to Libya to provide military ‘training and guidance’ to the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA). Erdogan said that he himself would be managing the operation in Libya, and that is a dangerous turn of events, especially after what he did in Syria, the world doesn’t need another country to be reduced to rubble.

GNA headed by prime minister Fayez AlSarraj signed a military pact with Turkey’s Erdogan in November 2019, allowing him to help combat the rival forces of Libyan strongman General Khalifa Haftar, in exchange for letting Ankara conduct energy exploration in its region.

Besides European leaders, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also released a statement on Friday condemning the foreign interference, leading to escalation of crisis. Guterres called for an immediate ceasefire in Libya and urged the two sides (GNA and LNA) to return to political dialogue. UN stressed in its statement that this dangerous escalation can further complicate the crisis in Libya and ‘threaten opportunities to return to the political process’.

Since 2014, Libya has been divided into two parts, one governed by Sarraj’s GNA based in the capital Tripoli and an opposing wing based in the east and governed by Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA). Haftar aims to unify the war-torn country by capturing Tripoli.  

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