President Erdogan says Turkey gradually sending troops to Libya
Istanbul: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday evening that Turkey is “gradually” sending troops to Libya under a deal inked with its UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).
Turkey spends great effort to reduce tension between the U.S. and Iran, Turkish president said on Sunday, amid dramatic escalation of tension in the region, following killing of a top Iranian commander in a U.S. drone airstrike on Friday in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, BOL News learnt.
“Our soldiers are gradually going,” Erdogan told the CNN Turk broadcaster in a televised interview, saying “The duty of Turkish soldiers is to ensure ceasefire and not to fight.”
“What we will do in Libya is to strengthen the legitimate government,” he added, noting an operation center would be established in the North African country torn by a raging civil war, which pits the Government of National Accord (GNA) based in the capital Tripoli against the Libyan National Army and its allies based in the east.
The mission for Turkish troops in Libya is to make coordination at the operation center, said Turkish president Recep Erdogan.
“As an opposition force, we will have different teams there,” he added.
The Turkish parliament on Thursday passed a motion authorizing the government to deploy troops to Libya in support of the GNA, as Ankara signed with it security and military cooperation agreements as well as a controversial maritime boundary memorandum at the end of November.
Earlier in this month, Turkey’s parliament has approved a bill to deploy troops to Libya in support of the embattled United Nations-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), paving the way for increased military cooperation despite criticism from opposition legislators.
Turkish lawmakers voted 325-184 at an emergency session in favour of allowing a one-year mandate to deploy troops and follows a request for assistance by the beleaguered Tripoli government, which has been under sustained attack since April by warlord Khalifa Haftar.
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