Libya’s government has been under attack by the warlord Haftar for several years. His armed group gets support from the anti-democratic governments of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, says Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in an article.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned Europe it could face new threats from terrorist organisations if Libya's UN-recognised government in Tripoli were to fall.
In the article, published on Saturday on the eve of a Libya peace conference in Berlin on Sunday, Erdogan said the EU's failure to adequately support the Government of National Accord (GNA) would be "a betrayal of its own core values, including democracy and human rights".
The GNA led by Fayez al Sarraj has been under attack since April from warlord Khalifa Haftar's forces based in the east of the country, with fighting killing over 280 civilians and 2,000 fighters.
"Europe will encounter a fresh set of problems and threats if Libya's legitimate government were to fall," Erdogan wrote.
"Terrorist organisations such as ISIS (Daesh) and Al Qaeda, which suffered a military defeat in Syria and Iraq, will find a fertile ground to get back on their feet."
In his article, he emphasised, "Libya’s government, which the United Nations recognises, has been under attack by the warlord Khalifa Haftar for several years. His armed group, which seeks to carry out a coup d’état in the country, enjoys support from the anti-democratic governments of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates among others."
"EU’s potential failure to adequately support Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) would be a betrayal of its own core values, including democracy and human rights," Erdogan said.
According to Erdogan, the EU needs to show the world that it is a relevant actor in the international platform.
The upcoming peace conference in Berlin is a very important step toward that goal. European leaders, however, ought to talk a little less and focus on taking actions.
He repeated his support to Libya's UN recognised government saying: "Turkey fully supports Libya’s UN-backed, legitimate government. Under the most recent security and military cooperation agreements, we pledged to protect the Libyan government from coup plotters."
Erdogan also said "obvious choice for Europe is to work with Turkey” as it is not much interested in providing military support to Libya.
Turkey will train Libya’s security forces and help them fight terrorism, human trafficking and other grave threats against global security, he added.
On January 12, the warring sides of the Libyan conflict announced a cease-fire in response to a joint call by Turkish and Russian leaders.
But talks for a permanent cease-fire deal ended without an agreement on Monday after Libyan warlord Haftar left Moscow without signing the deal.
Peace talks in Germany
Germany is set to host a major peace conference on Libya that will seek a stronger commitment from regional actors for a cease-fire in the war-torn country to pave the way for a political solution.
Chancellor Angela Merkel invited leaders from Turkey, Russia, the US, China, France, the UK and other regional actors to a single-day conference in Berlin, amid a fragile ceasefire between the warrring sides.
Since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: one in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the UAE, and the other in Tripoli, which enjoys the UN and international recognition.