(December 26, 2019 / JNS) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Thursday that he will present a bill to the Turkish parliament in January seeking to authorize the deployment of troops to Libya following a request from the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli.
“Based on our memorandum of understanding on … security and military cooperation, we will submit a motion for the deployment of the troops to parliament as the first item after it reopens. We will therefore be able to provide a more efficient support to the legitimate government in Libya after the approval from our parliament,” Erdoğan said at a meeting of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News reported.
Turkey and Libya signed agreements last month for defense and security cooperation, as well as setting maritime borders in the Mediterranean Sea.
“Our objective with this agreement is not to hijack anybody’s rights in the Mediterranean, to the contrary, is to protect our rights,” said Erdoğan, according to the report.
The U.N.-backed government in Tripoli is pitted against Libyan National Army head Gen. Khalifa Haftar’s forces, which are based in Benghazi in eastern Libya and backed by Russia, Egypt, France, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and other countries, the report noted.
“What we say: ‘We’ll go if we would be invited.’ If not invited, we don’t go. But as there is such an invitation, we will accept it,” said Erdoğan.
The governments of Cyprus, Greece and Israel plan to sign an agreement next month for a pipeline project to ship gas from the Mediterranean to Europe, the Greek prime minister’s office announced on Sunday, the AP reported.
The proposed pipeline system will take Israeli natural gas to the Greek island of Crete and the Greek mainland before heading on to Italy and other European countries.
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