Last updated on September 11th, 2021 at 03:09 pm
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is planning to send troops to Libya to shore up the UN recognised Government of National Accord(GNA) based in Tripoli.
Erdogan has been fighting off months-long offensive by Khalifa Haftar’s forces to the east of the country.
On Tuesday, Presidential Spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, said Turkey may need to draft a bill to send troops into Libya and added the parliament was currently working on it.
Ankara’s possible deployment into Libya has also alarmed Russia, which said it was very concerned by such a prospect.
Turkey has already sent military supplies to the GNA despite a United Nations arms embargo, according to a U.N. report seen by Reuters last month. And it has signed a military-cooperation deal with Fayez al-Serraj’s Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA).
Turkey’s escalating involvement in Libya cast a shadow on his surprise visit to Tunisia on Wednesday for talks with his Tunisian counterpart. It was the first visit to Tunis by a head of state since Tunisian presidential elections in the autumn.
The visit comes as Turkey has ramped up efforts to strike deals with nations on the Mediterranean where Ankara has been at odds with Greece over resources off the coast of the divided island of Cyprus.
Last month, Turkey signed a maritime delimitation agreement with Libya’s internationally recognized government, a move that enraged Greece.
Athens says the deal violates international law, but Ankara says it aims to protect its rights in the region and is in full compliance with maritime laws.
In a statement, Erdogan’s office said he was accompanied by his foreign and defense ministers as well as his intelligence chief.
It provided no further details on the content or purpose of the talks.
The visit is the first by a head of state to Tunisia since the election of President Kais Saied in October after Tunisian parliamentary elections.