Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 6 July 2020

Turkey resists international pressure to halt fighter flow to Libya

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Turkish said military personnel are being sent to Libya to train local fighters

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been arguably the biggest recent support of the GNA. AFP
Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been arguably the biggest recent support of the GNA. AFP

Turkey “will not” leave Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli alone and will provide “all the help we can,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.

Mr Erdogan said Turkish military personnel are being sent to Tripoli as part of a military cooperation agreement with Fayez Al Serraj’s GNA.

The remarks came as footage emerged of 500 Syrian mercenaries that have been sent to frontline positions in the Libyan capital. Mr Erdogan refused to comment on the reports that thousands of Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries have been sent to fight alongside GNA fighters. Tripoli is contested between GNA militias and the rival LNA under Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

"We sent, are sending our military delegation to there ... We will not leave Serraj alone. We are determined to provide all the help we can on this point," Mr Erdogan said.

He was speaking at a press conference in Istanbul following talks with German leader Angela Merkel, who last weekend hosted a summit in Berlin dedicated to the Libya conflict.

"Efforts need to be made to turn the fragile truce into a solid and permanent ceasefire," Ms Merkel said.

"I hope the Haftar side will take positive steps," she added.

Mr Erdogan accused the Libyan commander of not signing the ceasefire agreement while acknowledging it had committed to the Berlin process.

World powers have stepped up efforts in recent weeks to find a political solution.

Updated: January 24, 2020 09:01 PM

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