Turkey has started to deploy troops to Libya in a bid to provide support to the Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez al-Sarraj, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday.
"Turkey is sending troops to Libya to support the stability of the legitimate Libyan government," Turkish media quoted Erdogan as saying.
According to Erdogan, "from now on, it would be legally impossible to conduct geological drilling or construct pipelines [in the eastern Mediterranean] without obtaining permission from Libya and Turkey," TASS reports.
Earlier on January 5, the Turkish leader has announced that Turkey would send troops to Libya, tasked with "coordination activities" and "ensuring the security of the legitimate government."
On January 12, a ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey, and supported by the warring parties, came into effect. On January 13, representatives of both the GNA and the Libyan National Army (LNA) came to Moscow for negotiations, which resulted an armistice signed by Fayez al-Sarraj. LNA Commander Khalifa Haftar said he needed time to study the document, but later he left Moscow without signing the treaty, claiming he needed to discuss the agreements with his allies. This coincided with reports of renewed fighting in southern Tripoli, while the LNA issued a statement saying it is "ready and determined to achieve victory."
On January 19, Germany will hold an international conference on Libya, where both Haftar and Sarraj were officially invited. Representatives - including heads of state - of Algeria, China, Egypt, France, Russia, Turkey, UAE, the UK, and the US, are also expected to attend the conference.