Libya’s parliament votes against Turkish involvement

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Libya’s eastern-based parliament has voted unanimously against deals on security and maritime cooperation the UN-backed government in Tripoli signed with Turkey, days after Turkish legislators approved a troop deployment to chaos-wracked Libya.

The country has been split into rival eastern and western administrations since 2014.

The UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) currently controls Tripoli in northwestern Libya, and a parallel administration holding the east of the oil-rich country, supported by renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA).

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Fayez al-Sarraj, the head of GNA, signed the two controversial deals at a meeting in Istanbul in November.

On Saturday the parliament, which backs a rival administration in eastern Libya, rejected the deals.

The parliament also voted unanimously to cut relations with Turkey and refer al-Sarraj for prosecution on a charge of “high treason” because he sought a foreign power’s military help, the house’s spokesman Abdullah Bleihaq told dpa news agency.

On Thursday, Turkey’s parliament passed a motion to allow a military intervention in Libya, voting in favour of a one-year mandate to deploy troops amid an escalating civil war.

It is not yet clear if al-Sarraj’s administration will comply with the vote by Libya’s elected parliament.

Al-Sarraj’s internationally recognised government is battling eastern forces led by Haftar.

In April, Haftar’s LNA launched an offensive to seize Libya’s capital, Tripoli.

Haftar’s LNA has been threatening to target Turkish nationals and businesses in Libya and Turkish ships off the country’s coast, the motion passed by Turkey’s parliament said.

The civil war also threatens Turkey’s interests in the Mediterranean and North Africa, it added.

Haftar’s forces are backed by Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Russia.

The Arab League has warned that foreign military interference in Libya will facilitate the arrival of foreign terrorist fighters into the war-torn country.


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