Erdogan: Turkey will send troops to Libya in January 2020

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, right, shakes hands with Fayez al-Sarraj, the Chairman of the Libyan Presidential Council. [AP Photo]
The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced military backing for Libya’s internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), saying in a speech in Ankara on Thursday that he will present the Turkish parliament with the motion so that it can vote on the deployment legislation in January.

“We will present the motion to send troops [to Libya] as soon as parliament resumes” on January 7, Erdogan said.

“God willing, we will pass it in parliament on January 8-9 and thus respond to an invitation” from the Tripoli-based GNA,” he said.

The announcement came a month after Turkish and Libyan officials, led by GNA Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj, signed a memorandum of understanding on security and military cooperation.

The GNA’s cabinet of ministers and Turkish legislators have since ratified the deal, but a separate motion is needed to send boots on the grounds.

Thursday’s announcement also came a day after Erdogan met with his Tunisian counterpart, Kais Saied, during a surprise visit to the Tunisian capital to discuss developments in neighbouring Libya .

Erdogan told reporters at a joint news conference during his visit that the two leaders discussed ways of establishing a ceasefire and bringing warring factions back to the negotiating table.

Erdogan had reiterated Turkey’s willingness to send troops to support the GNA, saying Ankara would do so at the Libyan government’s request.

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