Turkey Ready To Provide Any Support To Libya's Government Of National Accord - Erdogan

ANKARA (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 16th December, 2019) Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that Ankara was ready to provide any support to the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), including to send its soldiers to the crisis-torn country, adding that Turkey does not recognize Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar as Libya's legitimate leader.

Earlier in December, Erdogan put forward the idea of a possible deployment of the country's forces per a request from the GNA, following the inking of an agreement on military cooperation by the two governments. Adm. Faraj Mahdawi, chief of the Libyan National Army's (LNA) navy, said that Haftar ordered his forces to sink Turkish ships in the wake of a recent maritime borders memorandum between Ankara and GNA.

"We will defend the rights of Libya and Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean and are ready to provide any necessary support to this country. If there is a request from Libya [for sending Turkish troops], we will take the necessary steps. Haftar is not a legal force," Erdogan told the Turkish A Haber tv channel.

Erdogan added that the military cooperation agreement would enter into force after its ratification by the Turkish parliament.

After the ouster and assassination of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, the country was plunged into a brutal civil war. Today, Libya is divided between two centers of power an elected parliament in the country's east, supported by the LNA, led by Haftar, and the UN-backed GNA in the west.