Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 6 April 2020

UAE condemns Turkey's plan to send troops to Libya

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation warned that Turkey is playing a “dangerous role” in the region

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday said Turkish soldiers had begun deploying to Libya after parliament approved such a move last week. AP
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday said Turkish soldiers had begun deploying to Libya after parliament approved such a move last week. AP

The UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation has condemned a Turkish parliamentary vote which will send troops to Libya in support of the government in Tripoli.

In a statement released Friday, the ministry said the intervention “represents a clear threat to Arab national security and the stability of the Mediterranean region”

The vote, which passed 325 to 184 during an extraordinary session of the Turkish parliament on Thursday, gives President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a year to decide on how to militarily support the internationally-recognised government of Government of National Accord.

Sending Turkish troops is aimed at “eliminating attacks on the interests of Turkey and Libya by illegal armed groups and terrorist organisations,” the resolution said.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation warned that Turkey is playing a “dangerous role” by supporting extremist and terrorist organisations and “transporting extremist elements to Libya”.

Last week, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed 300 Turkey-backed Syrian fighters had been sent to Libya while others were undergoing training to combat the forces of the Libyan National Army, led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

Citing “very reliable” sources, the Observatory said the fighters had been recruited from Afrin and Aleppo in north-west Syria on wages of up to $2,000 (Dh7,346) a month.

The UAE ministry also urged all parties to work towards installing a working state apparatus and institutions instead of allowing militias and armed groups supported by Turkey to operate in Libya.

It comes as the European Union also expressed dismay at Turkey’s vote.

“The EU reiterates its firm conviction that there is no military solution to the Libyan crisis,” an EU spokesman said on Friday.

“Actions supporting those who are fighting in the conflict will only further destabilise the country and the wider region,” he said, urging all international partners to respect the UN arms embargo and support the efforts of the United Nations Special Representative Ghassan Salamé and the UN-sponsored Berlin peace process.

In its statement, the ministry called on the international community to “assume its responsibilities in confronting this Turkish development, which threatens regional escalation, and its dire effects on efforts to reach through the Berlin process and international efforts seeking a comprehensive settlement through the international track”.

Updated: January 3, 2020 07:27 PM

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