Turkish Envoy to Libya: We Will Send Our Troops to Libya When Requested By GNA  – Al Marsad

Emrullah Isler, Turkish Special Envoy to Libya, said that his country does not support a military solution to the Libyan crisis and saw dialogue as the solution for the Libyan conflict from the outset. “We are not in favour of a military solution in Libya. There is a political crisis in Libya, and we have said from the beginning that this crisis must be solved politically and the way to do that is dialogue,” Isler spoke the participants at a forum organized by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (ORSAM) i the Turkish capital, Ankara on Thursday.

[Libya, 20 December 2019] – The Deputy Prime Minister and senior official at Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) delivered a speech as part of his participation in the  ORSAM symposium that focused on the Libyan crisis and the Turkish-Libyan relations. He highlighted that Turkey would continue supporting the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), led by Fayez al-Sarraj in Tripoli.

“Turkey has taken its position clearly. We want democracy to survive in Libya and we have announced that Turkey will support this government so that the dictatorial regimes do not come back,” Emrullah Isler affirmed. He claimed that some parties are trying to dilute the two memoranda of understanding between the Turkish government and the GNA, one on defining maritime jurisdiction areas in the Mediteranean, and the other on security and military cooperation.

Emrullah Isler said that Turkey criticizes Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the Commander-in-Chief of the Libyan National Army because of “the attacks of his forces that amount to terrorism. He has committed crimes against humanity. He bombed civilians,” the Turkish envoy claimed, adding that “there is currently one legitimate authority in Libya which is the Presidential Council government of the Government of National Accord led by Fayez al-Sarraj.”

The Turkish Special Envoy continued his allegations in what seemed like a media war propaganda against the LNA and its Commander-in-Chief, “Turkey supports a political solution, dialogue and the establishment of civil political and security mechanisms in Libya against ‘mercenaries of militia leader Khalifa Haftar’. He is a self-initiated actor; has no legitimacy and is committing human rights violations by bombing civilians and refugee shelters.”

The focal point in Isler’s rhetoric was his justification of what seems like an imminent Turkish military intervention in Libya, “Ankara can send military support to protect the legitimate government from Haftar. Turkey supports the Libyan people’s legitimate rights, including democracy, freedom and human rights.”

The Turkish Special Envoy considered that the international community is not serious with regard to resolving the Libyan issue, and it is not possible to think about the problems in the post-Arab Spring countries in isolation from each other.

He added, “I think when we find a solution to the crisis in Syria, it will be soon followed by a settlement in Libya, and a solution in Yemen because the stakeholders in Libya are not different from those in Syria.”

On the issue of deploying Turkish boots on the ground in Libya, Isler said: “we will go to Libya if we receive a request. Why should we go? In order to provide support and help in establishing state institutions.” He also stressed that Turkey will provide support to Libya as a brotherly country, whether in the military, security or other fields, as long as there is a request from the Libyan side in this regard. “After that, Turkey leaves Libya in a brotherly manner when the Libyan side requests it,” Isler added.

It should be recalled that the Turkish security and military cooperation pact concluded with the GNA on 27 November would allegedly help in the establishment of a Quick Response Force for Libya’s police and military, as well as enhanced cooperation in intelligence and the “defense industry”.

The GNA cabinet unanimously approved yesterday the implementation of that pact, paving the ground for seeking direct military intervention from Ankara.

© Al Marsad English (2019)