Saudi Arabia condemns Turkish ‘escalation’ in Libya: SPA

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Sun, 05 Jan 2020 - 10:56 GMT

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud presides over a cabinet meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, December 5, 2017. Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud presides over a cabinet meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, December 5, 2017. Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS

CAIRO – 5 January 2020: Saudi Arabia expressed its rejection and condemnation of the recent Turkish "escalation” in the Libyan issue, after the Turkish Parliament approved sending military forces to Libya, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The Kingdom, in a statement, considered that the recent steps violate the Security Council resolutions issued on Libya, undermine international efforts to resolve the Libyan crisis, and contradict with the Arab position adopted by the Arab League on December 31 last year.

“The Kingdom affirms that this Turkish escalation constitutes a threat to security and stability in Libya and a threat to Arab security and regional security, as it is interference in the internal affairs of an Arab country, in flagrant violation of international principles and covenants,” the statement read.

On January 2, 2020, the Turkish Parliament voted on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s bill to send Turkish troops to Libya after Erdogan and Head of the so-called Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj reached a deal in February 2019 on drawing maritime borders in the Mediterranean Sea- one of the largest natural gas resources in the region- and on enhancing military cooperation.

The deal provoked anger in Egypt, Cyprus and Greece, which voiced their rejection of the deal as it contradicts with the international agreements.

“Egypt affirms that such memoranda possess no legal effect, as they cannot be recognized in light of the fact that Article 8 of the Skhirat Political Agreement on Libya, widely accepted by Libyans, defines the competences conferred to the Council of Ministers, expressly stipulating that the Council of Ministers as an entity – and not the president of the council alone – has the power to conclude international agreements,” the Egyptian Foreign Ministry earlier said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Libyan Parliament held Saturday an emergency session, in which it voted on a bundle of decisions, including the rejection of the deals inked between the GNA and Turkey.

The parliament voted unanimously on authorizing the General Commander of the Libyan National Army Khalifa Haftar to disable airports, ports, and land gates that are controlled by the militias.

The parliament further agreed to address the UN Security Council, the League of Arab States, the African Union, the European Union and other international organizations to withdraw the recognition of the GNA.

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