Turkey opposes partition of Libya as military confrontation with Egypt looms

Turkey Tuesday said it opposes any form of division of Libya where it backs the UN-sponsored Government of National Accord (GNA), which is challenged by rebel Gen. Khalifa Haftar, backed by Egypt, UAE, Russia, France and USA.

“We are absolutely against the breaking up of Libya, whether in reality, or on the map, or politically or geographically,” said presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalın during an interview with London-based CNN International.

“That will be a devastating scenario. We have seen similar cases in Iraq, in Syria, in other places. We should draw lessons from that.”

Libya has become since 2011, following a NATO intervention which led to the overthrow and killing of former strongman Muammar Gaddafi, a lawless country with the GNA and Haftar feuding over the control of the oil rich country.

Haftar has seen his last year April-launched military push to seize Tripoli busted after Turkey provided the GNA with key military knowhow and mercenaries.

The GNA gains have stoked fear in Egypt, which is preparing military intervention in Libya on the grounds it wants to protect its territory.

Monday, the Egyptian parliament largely approved the Egyptian army intervention in Libya, a week after Haftar-aligned Libyan legislature, House of Representatives (HoR), based in the eastern city of Tobruk, requested Egypt’s military intervention to flash out what it called “invader and occupying” Turkey.

Egypt has declared the city of Sirte, 800 km from Egyptian border, a key gateway to Libya’s oil crescent, red line for GNA forces. Haftar seized the city last year.

Following Haftar’s series of defeats, Egypt proposed a ceasefire but Turkey, which has become a key player in Libyan affairs, rejected the proposal arguing that Haftar must first return the coastal city and hometown of slain former leader, as well as Jufra airbase located 650 km Southeast Tripoli.

Reports say Russia is mulling plans to build a naval base in Sirte and air base at Jufra. Turkey is also in talks with GNA to establish a naval base in Misrata and an airbase at recently captured al Watiya air base.

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