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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Turkey vows to stand by Libya's unity government against 'putschists'

Turkey opposes Haftar, whose forces are backed by Egypt and the UAE [Getty]

Date of publication: 22 July, 2020

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Ankara slammed countries supporting rogue Libyan general Khalifa Haftar, vowing to stand by the UN-backed government in Tripoli 'against any tyranny'.
Turkey's top security council reaffirmed its determination to back the Government of National Accord in Tripoli, against the rival eastern based commander Khalifa Haftar, in a strongly worded statement on Wednesday.

The National Security Council (MGK) vowed to "stand by the people of Libya against any tyranny", in a statement issued after a meeting chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkey "will not hesitate to take necessary steps", it added.

The MGK also discussed the involvement of third parties in Libya "who have dreams of making grounds by acting together with the putschists", describing them as "doomed initiatives".

Libya has been mired in chaos since the 2011 overthrow of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi, with rival political and armed groups battling for control.

Turkey supports Libya's UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).

It has stepped up military support to Tripoli against Haftar in the east, who launched an offensive in 2019 to take the capital.

Haftar is backed by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates - with which Turkey has strained ties - as well as by Russia. 

Tensions have mounted in recent weeks, with Egypt threatening to intervene militarily if the Ankara-backed GNA forces advanced towards the strategic city of Sirte.

The MGK also discussed the energy activities off the eastern Mediterranean - an area of tensions especially with Greece.  

It stressed "Turkey's firm determination to protect its rights and interests arising from international law in the eastern Mediterranean".

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