International concerns over Turkey’s planned foothold in Libya
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said today that Turkey will send troops to Libya now that Tripoli has requested it, and he will present legislation to parliament in January for deployment to the north African country.
Ankara signed two separate accords a month ago with Libya's internationally recognised government of Fayez al-Serraj, one on security and military cooperation and another on maritime boundaries in the eastern Mediterranean.
Serraj's Government of National Accord (GNA) has been fending off a months-long offensive by Khalifa Haftar's forces in eastern Libya, which have received support from Russia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.
"Since there is an invitation (from Libya) right now, we will accept it," Erdogan told members of his AK Party in a speech. "We will put the bill on sending troops to Libya on the agenda as soon as parliament opens."
The legislation would pass around Jan. 8-9, he added.
On 25 December Erdogan visited Tunisia to discuss cooperation for a possible ceasefire in neighboring Libya. On Thursday, he said Turkey and Tunisia agreed to support the GNA.