Libyan official blasts Turkey’s willingness to deploy troops

FILE PHOTO: A fighter of Libya’s UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) of Fayez Serraj, fires his rifle during clashes with forces of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar, at Al-Khalla frontline./ Getty Images

The speaker of Libya’s parliament has condemned Turkey’s willingness to dispatch troops to the troubled North African country, calling it “unacceptable.”

Aguila Saleh said in a joint statement with his Cypriot counterpart on Saturday that such a move would constitute unwanted meddling in the affairs of a friendly country

Saleh and Cypriot parliamentary speaker Demetris Syllouris also reiterated their condemnation of a maritime border agreement that Turkey signed with Libya’s Tripoli-based government — but which hasn’t been ratified, as necessary, by the Libyan parliament — as a “flagrant violation of international law that’s devoid of any legal basis.”

The two officials said Turkey’s actions would only spark tensions and destabilize the wider region.

According to the Cyprus News Agency, Saleh said that Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj isn’t authorized to sign any agreements on his own because according to an agreement on how the Libyan government should function, any agreement needs to have the unanimous approval of the nine-member presidential council and also requires parliament’s approval.

On a surprise visit to Tunisia earlier this week, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his county would evaluate sending soldiers to Libya if there was an invitation from Tripoli, where Sarraj’s United Nations-supported government is based.

Libya has been dogged by chaos since the 2011 ouster and killing of former president Muammar Gaddafi.

Gaddafi’s death left a void that various armed groups sought to fill, sparking a lengthy war.

The U.N. and international actors have been pressuring the warring factions to dialogue in order to end the war and return lasting peace to the country.