Defence Minister Hulusi Akar has reiterated Turkey’s support for Libyan people to ensure they live "comfortably, happier and more confidently."

Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar and Chief of General Staff Yasar Guler review the activities carried out under a memorandum of understanding between the two countries, in Tripoli, Libya, July 3, 2020.
Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar and Chief of General Staff Yasar Guler review the activities carried out under a memorandum of understanding between the two countries, in Tripoli, Libya, July 3, 2020. (AA)

Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar and Chief of General Staff Yasar Guler have visited Libya on Friday to review the activities carried out under a memorandum of understanding between the two countries.

A military ceremony was held for the duo upon their arrival at the Mitiga International Airport in the capital Tripoli.

Following the ceremony, Akar and Guler went to the Defence Security Cooperation and Training Assistance Advisory Command, which was created within the scope of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Turkey and Libya.

The two met with Turkish and Libyan soldiers, including Osama al Juwaili, the commander of the Operation Peace Storm.

Akar reiterated Turkey’s support for Libyan people to ensure they live “comfortably, happier and more confidently.”

"I want you to know that we are with you today and tomorrow, and will do whatever it requires for our Libyan brothers under the instructions of our president,” Akar said.

Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar and Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen Yasar Guler arrive in Tripoli, Libya on July 3, 2020.
Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar and Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen Yasar Guler arrive in Tripoli, Libya on July 3, 2020. (AA)

Bilateral cooperation

On November 27, 2019, Ankara and Tripoli signed two MoUs; one on military cooperation and the other on maritime boundaries of countries in the Eastern Mediterranean.

READ MORE: Why did Turkey sign a maritime deal with Libya?

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.

Following the military cooperation deal, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara may consider sending troops to Libya if the UN-recognised Tripoli government made such a request.

READ MORE: Turkey foiled 'invasion plan' in Libya – Erdogan

In turmoil since 2011

Libya has been torn by civil war since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The country's new government was founded in 2015 under a UN-led agreement, but efforts for a long-term political settlement failed due to a military offensive by warlord Khalifa Haftar's militias.

The UN recognises the Libyan government headed by Fayez al Sarraj as the country's legitimate authority, as Tripoli has battled Haftar's militias since April 2019, a conflict that has taken over 1,000 lives.

In March, the Libyan government launched Operation Peace Storm to counter attacks on the capital and recently retook strategic locations, including Al Watiya airbase and the strategic city of Tarhuna.

Source: AA