Turkey signs two military agreements with Libya
Turkey and Libya’s Tripoli government have signed two military cooperation agreements in Istanbul on Tuesday.
The first agreement was to raise the efficiency of military aviation capabilities in Libya, with the help of Turkish expertise in the field, and the second included implementation protocols for the security agreement signed by the Presidential Council of the former National Accord Government (GNA) in 2019, the Libya Update news website reported on Wednesday.
The agreements were autographed by Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, in his capacity as defence minister, it said.
Turkey supports Libya’s interim government, the Government of National Unity of Libya (GNU) that has replaced the GNA against
the General Khalifa Haftar’s opposition forces located in the eastern part of the war-torn country.
Earlier this month, Turkey and Libya’s Tripoli government led by Dbeibah have signed a series of preliminary economic agreements, that included potential energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean, a move that immediately slammed by Greece and Egypt that both said they will oppose any activity in disputed areas.
The agreement followed a 2019 maritime demarcation accord that Turkey and the GNA government signed to establish an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the region. The accord that created a sea corridor between the two countries, cuts through a zone claimed by Greece and Egypt, whom are also collaborating on gas exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean.
In November 2019, Turkey and Libya also signed a military cooperation deal, allowing Ankara to send troops to the North African country. Under a U.N.-backed ceasefire signed on Oct. 23, 2020, foreign troops and mercenaries were to pull out of Libya within three months, but Turkey’s military presence remains in the country.
During his meeting with Dbeibeh, Turkish Defense Minister Akar said Turkey's aim is to contribute to the formation of a Libya that has ensured its territorial integrity and political unity, and lives in peace and stability.
Turkey is determined to continue its military training, aid and consultancy activities within the scope of supporting its Libyan brothers, Akar said, according to statement by his office.
“Turkey is not a foreign power in Libya,” he said.
Libya is embroiled in a chaos following a 2011 uprising that ended the 42-year rule of Muammar Gaddafi. Since the NATO-backed outbreak, the North African country has run by two rival administrations, one based in the capital Tripoli and the other in Tobruk.
Turkey supports the government in Tripoli, while countries such as Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, support the eastern forces led by Haftar.