Turkey’s Presidency Motion to Extend Troop Deployment in Libya Seeks to Undermine 5+5 Agreement – Al Marsad

While the Libyan parties dispute the governance and the outcomes of the troubled Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF), Turkey’s presidency on Saturday submitted a motion to parliament to extend troop deployment in Libya for 18 months that goes fundamentally against the 5+5 agreement in Geneva between the GNA and the LNA. 

(Libya, 13 December 2020) – According to Anadolu Agency, the memorandum signed by Turkish President Recep Erdogan referred to what it called, “The risks and threats are coming from Libya to Turkey and the whole region. In the case of restart of the so-called Libyan National Army attacks and the clashes, Turkey’s interests both in the Mediterranean basin and North Africa will be adversely affected.”

Erdogan claimed that sending his troops to Libya aims at protecting Turkish interests and providing support to the “internationally recognized” Government of National Accord (GNA).

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) remains silent, while Turkey mocks the credibility of the United Nations by defying the 5+5 military agreement, which stipulated the departure of all foreign forces and mercenaries on the signing day.

With the request to extend the  presence of its forces in Libya for a further 18 months, Ankara has effectively ignore the GNA-LNA joint military agreement which was key to develop trust between the two sides.

TURKEY REJECTS AGREEMENT

On 24 October, the ceasefire agreement announced in Geneva between the Military Committee representing both the General Command of the Armed Forces and the Government of National Accord (GNA) received a wide international and regional welcome with the exception of Turkey.

4th Round of the Libyan Joint Military Committee talks in Geneva.

The United States, Russia, France, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, Germany, the European Union, and the League of Arab States (LAS) warmly welcomed the ceasefire agreement, congratulating the United Nations, which facilitated it, on this achievement.

Erdogan was the first to comment on the agreement and questioned its usefulness and said that the level of representation was of low profile. He even argued that “the GNA’s delegation represented the resigned Sarraj”.

The 5+5 agreement stipulated in its second article the freezing of all military agreements on training inside Libya, and the departure of foreign trainers.  This clause was to be effective immediately, yet Turkey today goes once again against the agreement by request its parliament to extend its presence in Libya rather than to leave.

 

The paragraph was considered one of the most important outcomes of the agreement, but Turkey showed its rejection y speeding up unprecedented efforts in military reinforcement to bases and ports in western Libya under the pretext of the security agreement and training of “Libyan forces” signed by Erdogan and Sarraj last November.

The pro-Turkey Defence Minister of the GNA Salah Al-Din al-Namroush, said that 5+5 agreement was “preliminary”, arguing that the presence of foreign forces in Libya was legitimate when it is requested by the legitimate authority—hinting that the Turkish presence is legitimate and the Turks should not be expelled. He threatened to end the ceasefire agreement of the joint military committee s a prelude to Turkey’s announcement of the request for extension of the presence of its forces.for a further 18 months.

Former UNSMIL envoy to Libya Ghassan Salamé said that the October agreement was the result of an effort initiated in January before his resignation. In response to Erdogan’s rejection of the agreement, Salamé said: “The time of truth has come and those who oppose the agreement from outside must accept what the Libyans themselves have accepted. The Libyans have to rely on themselves.”

Major General Marajie al-Ammami, the representative of the General Command of the Libyan National Army in the 5+5 talks, confirmed that he signed according to the directives of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, while the head of the GNA’s delegation, Major General Ahmed Abu Shahma, said that his team and that of the General Command were courageous and asked politicians to follow suit.

Acting Envoy Stephanie Williams had confirmed that the guarantor for the implementation of this agreement was the UN Security Council. She had indicated that she was going to request the UN Security Council to issue a resolution supporting the Geneva agreement, and she even congratulated Fayez al-Sarraj, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and Chancellor Aguila Saleh. However, to date no effort on her part to approach the UN Security Council or any firm measures by UNSMIL towards the protection and success of the agreement.

© AlMarsad English (2020)

 

 

 

 

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