Turkey’s Erdogan Seeks One-Year Mandate to Send Troops to Libya
(Bloomberg) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government has formally asked parliament in Ankara for a one-year mandate to send troops to Libya, where the UN-recognized government is battling forces led by eastern commander Khalifa Haftar.
Turkey needs to take measures “against all threats and security risks” that endanger its national interests, according to the motion, which was signed by Erdogan on Monday. The proposal leaves the decision on the “limit, extent, amount and timing” of any deployment to the president himself and adds that the government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj has requested Turkish support.
The state-run Anadolu Agency reported that Parliament Speaker Mustafa Sentop urged the assembly to hold an extraordinary meeting on Jan. 2. Both the ruling Justice & Development Party and the Nationalist Movement Party support the motion. The two parties hold a combined 339 seats out of a total 589.
Turkey aims to send its navy to protect Tripoli, the capital and seat of the internationally-recognized government, a senior Turkish official told Bloomberg last week, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue.
Turkey earlier in December signed a maritime deal with oil-rich Libya that serves the energy interests of both countries and aims to salvage billions of dollars of business contracts thrown into limbo by the conflict.