Libyan MP: Turkey Opposes Solution to Libya Conflict

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On Tuesday, member of the Libyan Parliament Ali Al-Takbali said that Turkey’s military moves in the western parts of Libya have a negative impact on the political process as Ankara is seeking to prevent any rapprochement between the Libyan warring sides so as to protect its interests in the North-African country.

“Turkey does not want a solution in Libya because it benefits from unrest and turmoil,” he noted.

Al-Takbali added that Turkey is disregarding international decisions and agreements that stipulate the withdrawal of foreign troops from Libya.

The lawmaker also confirmed that MPs calling for the unification of the parliament are, in fact, working to dismantle it. He confirmed that it is unlawful to hold any parliamentary session, except in the seat of the parliament specified according to its internal regulations – meaning Benghazi or Tobruk. As a result, Al-Takbali rebuked a number of MPs who had called for holding the parliament’s coming sessions in Ghadames.

He also accused the Muslim Brotherhood of seeking to divide and dominate the parliament in order to fully control the state’s affairs, just like how it already infiltrated many state institutions.

Libya has been divided between two authorities in Tripoli and Tobruk for six years. Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) controls the east and is allied to the Tobruk-based Parliament.

Meanwhile, the Government of National Accord (GNA) is based in Tripoli, the capital, and counts on the support of Turkey, Qatar, and thousands of Syrian mercenaries. Turkey signed an accord with the GNA last year to create an exclusive economic zone from Turkey’s southern Mediterranean shore to Libya’s northeast coast. Some of the areas involved are around Cyprus and the latter accuses Turkey of searching for gas in its territorial waters. The accord between Tripoli and Ankara is in reality an oil-for-protection agreement.

So far, the Libyan rival parties agreed to hold national elections in December 2021 as well as develop “criteria, transparent mechanisms, and objectives” for key power positions, in addition to working on the release of all prisoners, protecting oil and gas facilities, and completely resuming production and export activities. However, the GNA has insisted on maintaining military and security relations with Turkey, which puts the ceasefire in jeopardy.

On 26 October, the GNA’s Defence Minister, Salaheddin Al-Namroush, stressed that the Tripoli-based government will “enhance cooperation with Turkey as an ally and continue training programs that were received and will continue to be received by those enrolled in the GNA defence ministry’s training institutes.”