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Turkish Parliament Speeds Up Deployment Of Forces To Libya

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Turkey’s parliament has approved the deployment of its forces in Libya.

Despite criticism amongst the West, Turkey’s parliament has approved the deployment of its forces in Libya. In late November 2019, Turkish PM Recap Tayyip Erdogan had signed an agreement with the Government of National Accord leader Fayez Sarraj on the delineation of maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean Sea. They also reached a pact for maritime and security cooperation.

Erdogan’s move has seen a clear indication of disrupting peacekeeping efforts in Libya and criticized by Khalifa Haftar as well.

Under its plans of cooperating with Libya, along with its drones that have long been operating in Libya, Turkey had plans to send an elite contingent that includes special operations units, marine commandoes and intelligence officers. A delegation of some military tasks to private contractors may also be on the horizon.

Much before the session to be convened by the Turkish Parliament in January, the Parliament has voted 325 to 184 to give their President a one-year mandate to dispatch troops at the request of the government of Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj. Sarraj is leading the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA).

In helping Sarraj’s Tripoli-based government, Erdogan will probably complicate the international efforts to end the divisions that have roiled the country since the overthrow of strongman Moammar Qaddafi in 2011.

The UN recognized government has been battling forces aligned with commander Khalifa Haftar, which are backed by Russian mercenaries, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. All three nations have criticized Turkish involvement in the Libyan dynamics.

But Erdogan has other things on his mind. For one, he is using the unrest as a perfect opportunity to possess the Libyan land to prove his dominance in the Mediterranean seas. “Libya is, for us, the reminiscence of the Ottoman Empire,” Erdogan has made a public statement referring to the fact that Libya was part of the empire from 1551 to 1864 as its last African possession. Surprisingly, this statement has come after Erdogan made a surprise visit to Tunisia.

For the other, it gives him great control of the Mediterranean Sea which has become a strategic trade route for it and its neighbors.

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