President Erdogan Says Turkey Will Send Troops to Libya

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Thursday that the government will submit a parliamentary motion to send troops to Libya in early January, when parliament re-opens.

“We will go to places we have been invited to. Since there is an invitation [from Libya] we will accept it”, Erdogan said.

Erdogan’s announcement follows a new offensive launched by forces loyal to General Khalifa Haftar, who controls much of eastern Libya, against the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA).

It also follows the security and military cooperation agreement, as well as a deal to drill natural gas in the eastern Mediterranean signed by Libya and Turkey last month.

Press reports suggest that Turkey has been arming the Tripoli government over the last few months. Earlier in December, wreckage of an apparently Turkish surveillance system was discovered near Tripoli.

Erdogan also said that Turkey agreed with Tunisia to provide support to the GNA of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.

Erdogan on Dec. 25 visited his Tunisian counterpart Kais Saied during a surprise visit to Tunisia.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Saied, Erdogan said the turmoil in Libya is affecting not just itself but also neighboring countries like Tunisia.

“I believe Tunisia will make valuable and constructive contributions to efforts to achieve stability in Libya,” Erdogan said.

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