All news

Turkish military presence in Libya aims to protect residents’ rights — top brass

According to Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, Turkish servicemen will, among other things, train Libyan servicemen and clear the country's territories of mines

MOSCOW, May 4. /TASS/. Turkish servicemen in Libya aim to protect the rights and interests of the country’s residents, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said during his visit to Tripoli on Tuesday.

"The presence of Turkish servicemen in Libya is caused [by the desire] to protect rights and laws of [Libyan] brothers and provide them with assistance," Al Arabiya TV channel quoted him as saying. "We will train [Libyan servicemen], deliver aid, provide consultations and, above all, clear Libyan territories of mines," the official added.

Situation in Libya

Libya has had two parallel executive power structures until recently, the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) headed by Fayez al-Sarraj and the interim government operating in the country’s east together with the parliament and supported by the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Commander Khalifa Haftar. In spring 2019, Haftar attacked the capital, while the Tripoli Cabinet of Ministers officially asked Turkey for help and, thanks to Ankara’s active assistance, the GNA managed to regain control over several territories previously occupied by the LNA.

On October 23 of last year in Geneva, participants of Libya’s 5+5 Joint Military Commission (5 representatives from the GNA and the LNA formations each) signed an agreement on a permanent ceasefire. As a result, a relative calm at the lines of engagement as well as military agreements paved the way for the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum which elected Prime Minister of Libya’s Government of National Unity Abdel Hamid Dbeibah and three members of the Presidential Council in early February.

Both government agencies were sworn in on March 15 and have already begun to function in Tripoli. Their main task is the unification of fragmented power structures nationwide as well as carrying out the presidential and parliamentary elections in Libya on December 24.