TRIPOLI

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Guler on Friday visited Libya 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 Defense Security Cooperation and Training Assistance Advisory Command, which was created within the scope of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Turkey and Libya.

On Nov. 27, 2019, Ankara and Tripoli signed two MoUs; 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 Dec. 8.

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

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 forces.

The UN recognizes 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.
* Writing by Gozde Bayar

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