Turkey will introduce a bill to send troops to Libya as soon as Parliament resumes, in response to the country's invitation, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on Thursday.
Speaking at a meeting of provincial heads at the headquarters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in the capital Ankara, Erdoğan said the military mandate to send troops to Libya will be on Parliament's agenda when it resumes early January.
He also criticized countries supporting the East Libya-based warlord Khalifa Haftar rather than Fayez al-Sarraj.
"They support a warlord but we support the legitimate government and accept their invitation to send troops. This is what makes us different," Erdoğan said.
The president reiterated Turkey's determination to provide the necessary assistance to the Tripoli administration, which he said is fighting against "putschist commander Haftar, supported by various European, Arab countries."
Libya's interior minister said Thursday Tripoli will ask Turkey for military support if the fight over the capital escalates.
Turkey's Parliament approved a security and military deal with Libya's U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) Saturday. The deal went into effect yesterday after it was published in the Official Gazette.
The deal allows Turkey to provide military training and equipment at the request of the Libyan government, which controls the capital, Tripoli, and some of the country's west. Following the military cooperation deal, Erdoğan said Ankara might consider sending troops to Libya if the Tripoli government made such a request.
Turkey supports the U.N.-backed GNA government in Libya against the militia and mercenaries of self-proclaimed military leader Haftar. Tripoli-based GNA Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj sent letters to the leaders of the United States, Britain, Italy, Algeria and Turkey, urging them to "activate security cooperation deals."
The aim is to help the GNA "face aggression against the Libyan capital ... by any armed group operating outside the legitimacy of the state, to preserve social peace and achieve stability in Libya," he said.
Al-Sarraj also called for help to battle Daesh and al-Qaida, saying Haftar's offensive had given the terrorist groups "the appropriate opportunity and environment" for a resurgence in Libya.
Erdoğan also urged Europe to take action in the face of a humanitarian crisis in Syria's Idlib province.
"European countries need to shoulder the responsibility to ensure stability in Idlib and prevent another wave of mass migration," Erdoğan said, noting that Turkey has consistently told European and world powers that they will all have to pay the price if they do not take action and support efforts to ensure calm in the Idlib area.
The president noted that the Assad regime's persistent attacks prevent the perpetuity of the cease-fire in Idlib, forcing hundreds of thousands of civilians to head toward the Turkish border.
Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said earlier this week that Ankara is talking to Moscow with the aim of reaching a new cease-fire after increased bombardment in Syria's northwestern Idlib province.
There has been an increase in violence in the area around Idlib, as Assad regime forces launched a fresh assault to capture the city center.
There are around 3 million people, including many who were displaced as a result of the yearslong conflict in other parts of Syria and sought refuge in Idlib.