Report on Interest

Turkey mulls deployment of troops to Libya

By News Desk

Turkey President, Tayyip Erdogan, has disclosed that the country’s parliament will soon pass a bill to send military forces to Libya, to assist quash militiamen that have invaded the country to unseat the government.

Erdogan stated that the development became necessary after the African country appealed to Turkey for the deployment of troops to displace militiamen.

The President made this announcement during a speech addressing the members of his AK Party on Thursday, adding that he would present legislation to parliament in January for the deployment to support the internationally-recognized government based in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

“Since there is an invitation (from Libya) right now, we will accept it. We will put the bill on sending troops to Libya on the agenda as soon as parliament opens. God willing, we will pass it in parliament on January 8-9 and thus respond to the invitation.”

The Turkish parliament on Saturday ratified a security and military cooperation deal with Libya’s internationally-recognized government, headed by Fayez al-Sarraj, but a separate mandate is needed to send Turkish troops to the North African country.

On Wednesday, Erdogan paid a surprise visit to Tunisia with his defense minister to discuss means of reaching a ceasefire in Libya, where anti-government militia groups have been fighting to capture the capital.

The militia, under the command of renegade General Khalifa Haftar, have been trying to seize the capital for nine months.

The Turkish president had already announced plans to increase military support for Tripoli if necessary.

Libya has been the scene of violence since 2011, when former dictator Muammar Gaddafi was toppled after an uprising and a NATO military intervention.

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