Merkel and Erdogan Discuss Developments in Libya Amidst Turkish Deployment of Jihadis from Syria – Al Marsad

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany has spoken over the phone on Sunday to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The two sides discussed bilateral relations between Germany and Turkey and the accelerating regional developments particularly in Libya and Syria. 

[Libya, 30 December 2019] – “They discussed the current developments in Libya, including efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis, and the current situation in Syria,” said a statement issued by the Directorate of Communications of the Turkish Presidency.

The call comes amid a highly tensioned regional political and military climate regarding Ankara’s steps, which were described by many countries, including Cyprus, Greece and Egypt, as provocative in the wake of the two maritime boundary demarcations and military cooperation pacts concluded between Ankara and Tripoli’s Government of National Accord (GNA).

Erdogan’s move has undermined the effectiveness of the proposed Berlin conference which is scheduled to take place in January. Greece has requested it be part of the conference too and not just Turkey, as the future of Libya is important for Greece and the wider Mediterranean region.

The spectre of a widespread military escalation looms over the entire Eastern Mediterranean after Erdogan’s intention to pass a motion in the Turkish parliament on Thursday that would authorize the deployment of Turkish military forces in Libya. The main Turkish opposition party said today it will oppose any deployment of Turkish troops in Libya.

Over the last few days, Turkey has facilitated in coordination with the Tripoli-based GNA the transfer of jihadis and militants from northern Syria to Tripoli to assist forces loyal to the UN-backed government.

© Al Marsad English (2019)