Turkey defies Arab League over Libya commitments
The Turkish government countered Tuesday’s decision by the League of Arab States to oppose “non-Arab” intervention in Libya – a clear reference to Ankara – with a frosty message that accused the pan-Arab body of violating international consensus on Libya through its support of Khalifa Haftar and the rival government backed by the Libyan National Army (LNA).
“It is obvious that the Arab League has remained silent and failed to decisively support international legitimacy against the months-long, foreign supported military offensive against the Tripoli capital by the so-called Libyan National Army,” said Turkey’s foreign affairs ministry in a statement.
“We would like to remind that an inclusive Libyan-led and Libyan-owned permanent political solution can only be reached by deterring and not by encouraging those that try to create a fait accompli through military means,” the Turkish government added.
Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit confirmed the league’s position following an emergency meeting in Egypt to discuss concerns over Turkey’s alliance with the Government of National Accord led by Fayez Al-Sarraj, which remains the government of Libya acknowledged by the United Nations and western leaders.
The GNA leader met two weeks ago with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose material support for Sarraj has broadened to include the possibility of troop deployment to assist the GNA in defending its base in Tripoli.
Sarraj also met with Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in Qatar, a nation that Haftar broke ties with in June 2017 in keeping with Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and other Arab and African nations.
Tripoli has been under attack from LNA forces since April, with Haftar reissuing his call to defeat the GNA as Turkey’s commitments have become more clear. Ankara’s interventions have drawn the ire of Arab nations supporting Haftar, which include Egypt as well as other league members.
“Turkey will continue to support the Government of National Accord, which is the only legitimate executive body representing Libya,” the government said. “We will keep on exerting every effort for Libyan people to secure peace and stability.”