Egypt condemns Turkey parliament’s approval of Libya troop deployment

FILE: Turkish Armed Forces’ armoured vehicles and armoured personnel carriers, carrying Turkish commandos move towards to Syrian border at Turkey’s Kilis on October 09, 2019./ Getty Images

Egypt has condemned Turkey parliaments vote to allow troop deployment in conflict-ravaged Libya, the country’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Egypt said any such deployment could “negatively affect the stability of the Mediterranean region” and called on the international community to urgently respond to the move.

The Turkish parliament on Thursday voted 352-184 to approve the deployment of troops in Libya to support Fayez Sarraj’s Tripoli-based government fend off forces loyal to strongman Khalifa Hafter who has pledged to take over the capital.

The approval now gives the Turkish government the greenlight to send troops to Libya for one year.

Libya has been dogged by war since December 2011, and the situation heightened earlier this year when self-styled Libyan National Army chief Gen. Hafter pledged to take over Tripoli from the U.N.-backed government led by Prime Minister Sarraj.

Hafter announced in early December a final push to take Tripoli from Sarraj’s government, unleashing heavy clashes on the southern edges of the city.

Since 2011, the Libyan war has killed thousands and displaced millions as militant groups and human trafficking cells sought to impose their command in various regions across the country.

Earlier this week, France and Egypt called for the “greatest restraint” by Libyan and international authorities to avoid an escalation of the conflict that has rocked the country for months.

Mediation teams hope the warring factions can strike a deal to restore lasting peace in the country.