After the previous agreements signed between the Dbeibeh government and Turkey ignited a wide political debate within Libya and caused further divisions within the country, the Government of National Unity has signed two memoranda of understanding to train members of the General Directorate of Security Operations in Turkey, as announced by the Ministry of Interior of the Government of National Unity yesterday, Tuesday.
According to a statement from the ministry, Major General Ali Al-Tweel, the Director-General of Training, and Sarthaj Solfan, the Turkish Ministry of Interior’s advisor in Libya, approved the two memoranda aimed at implementing training courses in Turkey for members of the General Directorate of Security Operations. Last June, officials from the Ministry of Interior discussed existing security cooperation with their counterparts in the Turkish Ministry of Interior, especially in the field of training.
Last Thursday, widespread public protests erupted in the city of Al-Khums, located in northwestern Libya, in opposition to a decision by the Prime Minister of the Government of National Unity in Tripoli, Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, to annex the city’s commercial port to the naval military base where Turkish forces are stationed.
Ankara had used this base to strike forces loyal to Haftar, preventing their advance towards the capital Tripoli in 2019, during the failed war waged by the latter to liberate the city from the grip of armed militias controlling it.
The Turkish naval forces exploit the port as a base under the guise of training the forces loyal to the Dbeibeh government. It’s noteworthy that the Turkish military provides training and military consultations to these forces, within the framework of the security and military cooperation memorandum signed by Ankara in 2019 with the previous Government of National Accord led by Fayez al-Sarraj.
Furthermore, several agreements were signed, including a controversial agreement between the previous Government of National Accord led by Fayez al-Sarraj and the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which included the demarcation of maritime boundaries between the two countries and security cooperation. This agreement allowed Ankara to militarily intervene in Libya by sending affiliated forces and foreign mercenaries, helping to repel an attack by the Libyan army to control the capital Tripoli.
Libya is currently experiencing a power struggle between two rival governments, with some factions defending the feasibility and benefit of these new agreements for the country, while others deem them unlawful due to the end of the Dbeibeh government’s term and consider them violations of Libya’s sovereignty, led by the Parliament.