Responding to the latest comments of Turkish President Recept Tayeb Erdogan that his country started deploying Turkish troops in Libya, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said this move violates the United Nations Security Council resolutions on Libya.
In phone calls with his Greek and Italian counterparts, Shoukry said that the Tukrish announcement has negative and grave consequences on the Berlin Conference and on the situation in Libya due on January 19, 2020, according to a statement by the Foreign Ministry.
“This is considered per se evidence of the intention to violate the relevant Security Council resolutions, and portends further internationalization of the Libyan crisis,” the statement read.
Shoukry expressed his great concern that such an announcement “would lead to wasting the efforts exerted by the international community and the countries keen on Libya’s interests and stability.”
“The Foreign Ministers agreed on the importance of supporting the Berlin political process and striving to make it a success instead of venturing once more, by putting international endeavors regarding the Libyan issue at stake,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, Commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar, who is backed by Egypt, the UAE and other Arab and Foreign countries, paid a visit to Greece to discuss the latest developments in Libya following the Turkish announcement.
He met with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias who affirmed that Haftar will attend the Berlin Conference, Reuters reported.
Haftar announced on December 12th, 2019 a “decisive” and “final battle” in Tripoli to “set it free” from armed militias of the so-called Government of National Accord (GNA), which is backed by Turkey. On January 6, 2020, the Libyan National Army forces seized the city of Sirte after attacking from five military axes to control several vital areas in the city such as Sirte port and Ghardabiya Airbase.
Later, the international community intervened and managed to bring a ceasefire between the two conflicted parties. This month, Moscow hosted a meeting between the conflicting parties in presence of representatives from Egypt and other countries to reach an agreement. However, the meeting failed to reach an agreement and Haftar refused to sign it due to some “conditions that must be met.”
In response, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced plans to send Turkish troops to fight along with forces of the GNA, Haftar’s rival.
The situation in Libya has escalated in the region after Turkish President Recept Tayeb Erdogan and Sarraj signed controversial Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) on drawing maritime borders in the Mediterranean Sea- one of the largest natural gas resources in the region- and on enhancing military cooperation. The deals provoked anger in Egypt, Cyprus and Greece that voiced their rejection of the deal as it contradicts with the international agreements.
In a joint press conference held in Cairo for the foreign ministers of Egypt, Greece, France and Cyprus, it has been affirmed that the necessity to fully respect the sovereignty of all countries, including their sovereign rights in their water regions in the Mediterranean Sea.
In this regard, they strongly condemned the continuous Turkish acts (drillings) in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone and regional waters and called on Turkey to immediately halt illegal exploration activities.sovereignty of all countries, including their sovereign rights in their water regions in the Mediterranean Sea. In this regard, they strongly condemned the continuous Turkish acts (drillings) in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone and regional waters and called on Turkey to immediately halt illegal exploration activities.