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Sarraj’s GNA Paid 12 Billion USD to Turkey in Military Trade-off to Gain Control over Tripoli

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Mevlut Cavusoglu

The Libyan Review revealed that Libya’s UN-recognised Government of National Accord, led by Fayez Al-Sarraj, paid 12 billion USD to Turkey for military assistance in order to gain control over Tripoli. The Libyan Review in its investigative report mentioned that the Sarraj’s government recently deposited 4 billion US dollars in the Central Bank of Turkey, while it gave Ankara another 8 billion USD for its ‘recent military intervention in Libya’.

The Libya Review added, “Turkey has sent over 70 Turkish UAV drones to Libya, which cost over $5 million US dollars per unit, hundreds of Armoured vehicles (KIRPI) and thousands of Syrian mercenaries who are paid approximately $1500 US dollars a month”. The website also reported the Turkish news channel (TRT) quoting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan boasting about his country’s rising foreign exchange reserves, which are now over $93 million.

On Wednesday, the Turkish delegation – including the Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Treasury and Finance Berat Albayrak, Turkish Ambassador to Libya Sarhan Aksan, Chief of Intelligence Hakan Fidan, and several senior officials in the Turkish Presidency and the government reached Tripoli to hold high-level diplomatic talks with Libyan PM Sarraj. The key agenda of the meeting was to discuss lasting ceasefire and political solution in Libya, along with energy and trade co-operation. 

The discussions also addressed ways of bringing Turkish companies back in Libya, in addition to cooperation and integration mechanisms in the areas of banking, infrastructure, and oil. Besides, the bilateral talks reviewed the implementation of the security and military Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two countries last November, developing and enhancing GNA’s defense capabilities.

The meeting was also attended by the GNA’ Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Siala, Minister of Interiors Fathi Bashaga, Minister of Finance Faraj Atmari, the President of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) Mustafa Sanallah, and the Libyan Ambassador to the European Union Hafed Kaddour. 

Mevlut Cavusoglu, speaking to reporters in Turkey after his strategic meet in Libya, called it a very beneficial visit.

Analysts believed that Turkish intervention in Libya escalated the conflict between the warring factions of Sarraj’s GNA and General Khalif Haftar’s Libyan National Accord, while the international actors tried to defuse the tensions to reach a ceasefire agreement.

Turkey intervened in Libya not only to establish its military and economic might in the region but also to gain upper hand over European Union. “Turkish military presence in Libya would strengthen its position vis-a-vis EU in general and Germany in particular,” said international relations expert Zaur Gasimov of Bonn University.  Turkey has been threatening the Union of sparking refugee crisis in the region. 

“The fears of more influx of refugees have never been stronger than now in Europe, already heavily challenged by the [coronavirus] pandemic and economic recession,” he added.  

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