Turkey deploying troops in Libya is ‘dangerous escalation’

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Turkey sending troops to Libya marks a dangerous escalation which threatens to destabilise the region leaders of Cyprus, Greece and Israel said in a joint statement.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced Turkey’s decision to deploy troops in Libya.

They said the decision marks a “dangerous escalation and significant deterioration” of the current conflict in Libya and violates relevant United Nations resolutions.

“This decision constitutes a gross violation of the UNSC resolution…imposing an arms embargo in Libya and seriously undermines the international community’s efforts to find a peaceful, political solution to the Libyan conflict.”

Turkey’s parliament overwhelmingly approved a bill that allows troops to be deployed in Libya, in a move that paves the way for further military cooperation between Ankara and Tripoli but is unlikely to put boots on the ground immediately.

Turkey’s move comes after Ankara and the internationally recognized government of Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj signed two separate agreements in November: one on security and military cooperation and another on maritime boundaries in the eastern Mediterranean.

This accord is opposed by Greece, Israel, Egypt and Cyprus while the EU has also come out against it.

Greece, Israel and Cyprus also called on Turkey to refrain from sending troops to Libya, which would violate Libyan national sovereignty and independence.

“The repercussions of such a reckless move will be dire for the stability and peace of the entire region. Ankara should refrain from taking such action, which blatantly violates Libyan national sovereignty and independence”, the statement said.