Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkish troops 'gradually departing' for Libya to assist GNA, says Erdogan

ANI | Updated: Jan 06, 2020 03:01 IST

Ankara [Turkey], Jan 06 (ANI): Turkish soldiers are "gradually departing" for Libya to assist Government of National Accord (GNA) in its fight against military led by commander Khalifa Haftar, said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday.
"Our troops are gradually departing to Libya. They will coordinate [their action with the GNA] there. Our goal is to support the legitimate government," Sputnik quoted Erdogan as saying.
In a speech by Ankara in late December, Erdogan announced military backing for Libya's internationally recognised GNA following a request by the war-torn country.
"Since there is an invitation [from Libya] right now, we will accept it," Erdogan told members of his AK Party. "We will present the motion to send troops [to Libya] as soon as Parliament resumes."
"God willing, we will pass it in Parliament on January 8-9 and thus respond to an invitation" from the Tripoli-based GNA, he said.
GNA-led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj is engaged in a battle with Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Haftar.
Last Month, Turkish and Libyan officials, signed a memorandum of understanding on security and military cooperation.
The GNA's cabinet of ministers and Turkish legislators has since ratified the deal.
Libya has been largely divided into two factions ever since the death of its dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
The LNA-backed parliament controls the east of Libya, while the UN-backed interim Government of National Accord (GNA) governs Libya's western region from Tripoli.
While the US government has primarily backed the GNA, American diplomats and military officers have maintained contacts with Russia backed Haftar.
Most of the international community has urged for a peaceful resolution to the intense fighting which has ensued in the African nation. (ANI)