Cypriot parliament speaker affirms support to Libyan legislative body

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Sat, 28 Dec 2019 - 03:09 GMT

Cypriot Flag - Wikimedia Commons

Cypriot Flag - Wikimedia Commons

CAIRO - 29 December 2019: Speaker of the Libyan Parliament Aguila Saleh discussed his country’s crisis in Nicosia with Cypriot counterpart Demetris Syllouris who affirmed support to the Libyan House of Representatives for being a legitimate elected entity.

Syllouris asserted his country’s rejection of foreign intervention in Libya, and the support granted to militias, as reported by Sky News Arabia. Cypriot deputy foreign minister had earlier commented on Turkey’s intended military presence in Libya saying that Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan plays with fire, as reported by Russia Today.

Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) requested on Thursday Turkish military intervention providing air, ground, and sea support to its militias in Tripoli against the attempts of the Libyan National Army (LNA) to capture the capital.

Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan stated on Thursday that troops will be sent to Libya upon the request of the interim government in Tripoli and that the parliament is expected to pass the decree on January 8.

On Thursday, the Turkish gazette published the endorsement of the MoU on military and security cooperation signed by Turkey and the Government of National Accord (GNA) on November 27 announcing its enactment. On December 21, the Turkish parliament’s plenary session approved the MoU’s endorsement.

On Wednesday, Erdogan visited Tunisia to discuss cooperation over endeavors to reach a ceasefire in Libya. On Thursday, GNA’s Ministry of Interior Fathy Bash Agha stated in a press conference that Tunisia is part of an alliance encompassing GNA and Turkey, which was negated by Spokeswoman of the Tunisian Presidency Rashida al-Nayfar.

Agha also stated on Thursday that the GNA, which is not elected, may request Turkish military support, if the war near Tripoli continues as the Libyan National Army (LNA) has been attempting to enter Tripoli since April.

The UN-backed non-elected GNA has not reached an agreement with LNA and is protected by militias. Since April, the LNA has been attempting to enter Tripoli and captured Mitiga airport for days. The LNA currently controls the majority of Libya’s territories while GNA’s militias occupy the northwestern corner of the country sharing borders with Tunisia. Some relatively small districts in the south are held by tribal militias. The LNA is backed by the Libyan House of Representatives and the government based in Tobruk eastern the country.

Chief of Staff of the Libyan Naval Force Faraj al-Mahdawi said on December 22 that the navy is on high alert to confront any possible attack by Turkish forces on Libya. "The army is also ready for action and will block any backup for the militias and prevent access of Turkish forces into the Libyan lands," Mahdawi told Al-Arabiya.

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