Turkey extends Libya troop deployment
ISTANBUL, Dec 22, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – Turkey’s parliament on Tuesday
authorised an 18-month extension of its troop deployment in Libya in
support of the UN-recognised government in Tripoli, the Anadolu state
news agency reported.
Turkey’s support for the Government of National Accord (GNA) in
Tripoli helped stave off an offensive by eastern strongman Khalifa
Haftar with Russian, Egyptian and UAE backing in April 2019.
The sides struck a ceasefire agreement in October formally ending
the fighting and setting the stage for elections at the end of next
Turkey’s presence in Libya is linked to its broader interests in
the eastern Mediterranean, where it is hunting for natural gas in
disputed waters claimed by Cyprus in Greece.
Ankara struck an agreement with the GNA leadership in November 2019
that extended Turkey’s maritime claims in the Mediterranean in
exchange for military support.
Turkey’s parliament authorised the first one-year troop deployment
to Libya in January of this year.