Turkey extends its mission in Tripoli, and Libyan parties express their rejection

The Turkish Parliament approved a memorandum presented by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the extension of the army’s mission in Libyan territories for an additional (24) months, starting from January 2nd.

The Anadolu Agency explained that the memorandum stated: ‘The goal of sending Turkish forces is to protect national interests within the framework of international law. and to take all necessary precautions against .the security risks posed by illegitimate armed groups in Libya.’

Turkey, which controls military bases in western Libya .and deploys forces under agreements signed with the former Government of National Accord led by Fayez al-Sarraj. and the outgoing Unity Government led by Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh. seeks to reach the eastern region and break political barriers with the parliament. and army commander Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

The presence of Turkish forces in Libya began in December 2019 at the request of the Libyan Government of National Accord during the war against Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar. Turkey sent its forces to Libya on January 2, 2020. and its mission was extended on June 21, 2021, for (18) months.

The approval of the Turkish Parliament for a memorandum on the extension of the presence of Turkish military forces in Libya will further deepen divisions within Libya. as the Libyan House of Representatives. led by Chairman Aguila Saleh. refuses to recognize the Turkish memorandum and .Turkish presence in the country. while the outgoing government led by Abdul Hamid al-Dbeibeh in the west does not reject it.

The renewal by the Turkish Parliament confirms Ankara’s intention not to respond to international and local demands to .end the presence of foreign forces on Libyan territory. especially as it invests in the political situation in Libya. aligning with the government in Tripoli. which remains at odds with the parliament that rejects any foreign forces on Libyan soil.

In response to Ankara’s new move to extend the stay of its elements for an additional two years, Libyan parties expressed their rejection. The ‘Libyan National Forces Initiative’ stated in a statement published .by Africa Gate about its ‘concern and condemnation’ of the Turkish President’s decision. saying that it is ‘committed to working with all Libyans and assisting free countries in removing foreign forces and mercenaries’ from Libya.

It emphasized that Turkish forces are at the forefront, warning of the ‘accountability of anyone who brings and assists these occupying forces to our country.’ stating that ‘tomorrow is near for their reckoning.’

There is no official statistic on the number of Turkish forces in the capital Tripoli. but previous estimates counted (20,000) elements. in addition to the withdrawal of hundreds of them and their replacement with others.

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