Turkey's improving role in the Libyan crisis

Published 24.01.2020 18:01
Updated 25.01.2020 01:51

The recent Berlin conference succeeded in bringing about agreements on proposals to enforce an arms embargo and on finding a permanent political solution to the unrest in Libya. There will be a cease-fire committee established consisting of five military members of the two conflicting sides who will meet regularly, but no short-term changes should be expected.

However, there has been a significant shift in the balance of power in favor of the legally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) versus the rebellious Gen. Khalifa Haftar due to Turkey's increased involvement.

Turkey's role has led European and international communities to revisit developments in Libya. That is a point objective analysts agree on today. Ankara has gained more say in the situation through agreements with the Tripoli government and with the Turkish parliamentary approval of Turkish troop deployment to Libya.

Turkey's strong support for the U.N.-recognized GNA has forced external Haftar backers to reconsider the imbalance between the two forces, which has made Libyan Presidential Council Chairman Fayez al-Sarraj's position stronger at the negotiation table.

Turkish involvement has definitely slowed down Haftar forces. Turkey and Russia, despite supporting opposing sides, have both taken the initiative in solving the crisis, which accelerated the process that brought about the Berlin conference.

But what will happen next? So far, Haftar continues to lean toward aggressive policies and is still receiving support from the Gulf, the U.S. and Russia, not to mention his European backers. All in all, the goal is to convince the sides to agree on a political solution. Hafter continues to insist on achieving power through military means, but Turkey's aim is to prevent him from attacking so a political solution can be established.

In order to do this, cooperation is needed. EU countries might be convinced to support al-Sarraj and if the balance shifts Haftar will feel the need to negotiate. These developments that made the Berlin conference possible show the force of peaceful and constructive policies. It is Turkey who put in a great effort for stability and peace and I think a consistent insistence on peace is introducing results that everyone should be proud of.

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