AMERICAS ASIA EUROPE MIDDLE EAST AFRICA TURKIYE

ARTS & CULTURE BUSINESS LIFE SPORTS

A PLACE CALLED PAKISTAN DIGITAL DOCUMENTARIES FOCAL POINT OFF THE GRID STORYTELLER

PERSPECTIVES RESEARCH CENTRE WORLD CITIZEN JOBS

Turkey will increase military support to Libya if needed – Erdogan

  • 22 Dec 2019

"We will evaluate all kinds of military support including ground, marine and air options if necessary," Turkey's President Erdogan says, as Greece foreign minister holds talks with illegal militia chief Khalifa Haftar in Benghazi city.

Turkey's President Erdogan says Ankara would not "take a step back" from any Libya agreement. ( AA )

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday vowed Ankara would increase military support to Libya if necessary, and evaluate all options.

His comments come a day after the Turkish parliament ratified a security and military cooperation deal signed between Ankara and Tripoli last month.

"We will evaluate all kinds of military support including ground, marine and air options if necessary," Erdogan said during a speech in the northwestern province of Kocaeli.

The Turkish government must seek a separate mandate from the Turkish parliament to send forces to fight there.

Turkey supports the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (or GNA) based in Tripoli in the struggle against illegal militia chief Khalifa Haftar.

Erdogan on Sunday said Turkey would not "take a step back" from any Libya agreement despite opposition from Greece over maritime boundaries.

"Those who are against us have no awareness of rights, law, justice, ethics or mercy," he added.

Deal in line with law

Erdogan said that the deal does not contradict Turkish or international laws.

"We have no steps contrary to established practices, both on the continental shelf and on the issue of exclusive economic zones and maritime jurisdictions," he said.

Erdogan said that Turkey took the first steps on the maritime jurisdiction with Libya 10 years ago after discussions with then Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi and reached consensus with him.

"The conflict of maritime jurisdiction between the territory of our country facing Libya and the territory of Libya facing our country gives us this right according to international legislation and practices," Erdogan said.

He stressed that the text of the agreement was delayed due to turmoil in the region.

Erdogan underlined that the stakeholders of the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea are all the countries along its coasts.

"As the longest [Mediterranean] littoral country, we are resolved to exert efforts with all our means to protect our rights here."

He also added that Turkey "definitely" will not change its policies in Syria and Libya.

Ankara-Tripoli military pact

The Turkish parliament on Saturday ratified a pact on security and military cooperation with Libya.

On November 27, Ankara and Tripoli signed two separate accords; one on military cooperation and the other on maritime boundaries of countries in the eastern Mediterranean.

The maritime pact asserted Turkey's rights in the eastern Mediterranean in the face of unilateral drilling by the Greek Cypriot administration, clarifying that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) also has rights to the resources in the area. It went into effect on December 8.

Since the ouster of late leader Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: one in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and another in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.

Also on Sunday, Greece's foreign minister was on a whirlwind tour of eastern Libya, Egypt and Greek Cypriot following Ankara's maritime deal with the Tripoli government. Nikos Dendias met the chief of illegal militia Khalifa Haftar in Benghazi and his two deputies.

TRT World's Ali Mustafa has the reaction from Tripoli on Greek FM Dendias' meeting with the warlord.

Related

Popular