Turkey to extend military presence in Libya

Turkey to extend military presence in Libya

The office of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has presented to the parliament in Ankara a request for an 18-month extension to its military mission in Libya, reports say.

Turkey has had military presence in Libya since January 2020 after it signed a maritime and security deal with then ruling Government of National Accord (GNA), led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.

The agreement came as part of the GNA’s efforts to repel an offensive by Khalifa Haftar, a military commander controlling large swathes of the oil-rich country’s territory.

In December 2020, the Turkish parliament passed another 18-month extension of the mission.

Ankara currently backs Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, one of Libya’s rival Prime Ministers and head of Tripoli-based Government of Nation Unity (GNU).

The Libyan parliament, the House of Representatives (HoR), in February removed Dbeibah and handpicked former Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha as new Premier.

Dbeibah has refused to resign and blocked Fathi Bashagha from entering in Tripoli.

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