"Turkey is ready to send troops to Libya." These are the words President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said after Ankara and Libya's internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) signed a security deal before Erdoğan departed for Geneva and Malaysia.
Erdoğan is ready and keen on giving any support to Libya in order to protect the rights of Libya and Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean. Turkey is concerned as the war in Libya enters a crucial stage. Khalifa Haftar is advancing as he wants to take Tripoli from the recognized official government which might cause turmoil in the country and region.
The military agreement signed between Ankara and Tripoli enables Tripoli to request vehicles and weapons for the use in the army, navy and air operations. It also provisions for new intelligence sharing.
Turkey wants to discuss with other countries the issue of sending military help to Libya. A Turkish delegation will be traveling to Moscow for talks in the following days. This decision came amid a phone call between Erdoğan and Putin. That is crucial since Russia is supporting Khalifa Haftqr.
Like Russia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates also support Haftar, while the U.N. and other European countries are on the side of the government, as Turkey is. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is organizing a meeting on Libya in which she invited Erdoğan. She suggested the participation of Algeria, Tunisia and Qatar as well. This information came from President Erdoğan who said in a meeting that "the Libyan people have confidence in these countries. If they would take part in the process the Libyan people will be able to better express their beliefs."
Libya is at such an alarming point that many countries are willing to get involved. Like Germany, Italy's foreign minister said that his country is also ready to hold talks with Turkey, Russia and the U.S. on finding a solution to the crisis in Libya.
Actually, the Libyan conflict reflects the faultlines in the Middle East. The United Arab Emirates, siding with Egypt and Saudi Arabia is supporting the rebellious Haftar partly for the sake of being opposite of Turkey and Qatar's side. The proxy war goes on in Libya as well as in Syria. Turkey's maritime border deal with Libya draws a vertical line across the Mediterranean which disturbs the plans of Greece, Cyprus, Egypt and Israel to drill near Cyprus. This rapprochement between Turkey and Libya enables Turkey to restrict oil and gas exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Turkey's involvement started to change Haftar's rebellious attacks. The GNA started to repel the attacks of Haftar and started a counteroffensive. New weaponry including Turkish anti-armor missiles is used to big effect.
Ankara's motto is the same everywhere. It defends the integrity of the countries Syria, Iraq as well as Libya. It aims to prevent civil war and conflict which would affect the entire region. I think this policy is very important in keeping the power balance and preventing disasters.
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