New military agreement between Turkey and the Libyan government of national reconciliation

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The Libyan government of national reconciliation has signed a new military agreement with Turkey, its main backer, in its dispute with a powerful eastern man, Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter, the presidency said on Thursday.

Libya news
File AFP

The Turkish presidency said that the agreement “military and security cooperation” was signed Tuesday evening during a meeting in Istanbul between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the head of the government of the Libyan government Fayez Sarraj.

Fakhruddin Alton, director of communication at the Turkish presidency, said Thursday that the new text was a “broader version of the framework agreement on military cooperation” between the two countries.

He stressed that the new agreement “will strengthen relations between our armies”, calling on “other responsible actors” to support the government of Sarraj recognized by the United Nations.

“The stability of Libya is of great importance to the security of Libyans and to the fight against international terrorism,” the Turkish official said.

The deal comes despite a call by the Arab League for member states to halt cooperation with Turkey and cut diplomatic representation in Ankara against the backdrop of an offensive in northern Syria against Kurdish guerrillas.

The government of national reconciliation, backed by Turkey and Qatar, and Italy, a former colonial power, appears to have backed it.

Her adversary, Field Marshal Hifter, whose forces launched an offensive in April to take control of Tripoli, has the backing of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, as well as political support from the United States and Russia. France accuses it favors it but denies it.

UN experts said in a confidential report seen by AFP earlier this month that Jordan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates had “regularly” violated the UN arms embargo imposed on Libya since 2011.

Erdogan said in June that Turkey was supplying weapons to the government of national reconciliation, saying the military equipment had allowed Tripoli to “rebalance” the situation against the forces of Khalifa Hifter.

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