Liberation: Libya Is the New Frontier of Erdogan's Ambitions
A day after his visit to Tunisia, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that in January next year, parliament would vote on a law allowing troops to be sent to Tripoli. For the Islamist leader, this is a way to expand his sphere of influence and assist the unstable Libyan government with national consensus, writes the French daily Liberation.
The conflict in Libya has been a major topic of discussion between Erdogan and the recently elected President of Tunisia, Kais Saeed, although they formally discussed trade relations between the two countries. Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya Fayez al-Sarraj, has joined the meeting between the presidents of Turkey and Libya, the French newspaper notes.
"What is happening in Libya can also affect neighbouring countries, so we came to Tunisia," Erdogan confirmed at a joint press conference. He stressed the important role Tunisia can play in ensuring that the ceasefire is eventually returned to the political process. Erdogan wants to get Tunisia's logistical support for prepared military intervention. If it is unable to persuade Libya's neighbouring country to join its camp, the Turkish president wants to at least ensure its friendly attitude.
Several Tunisian parties voiced reservations after the Turkish president's visit, warning that joining regional alliances would hurt national interests and the state's tradition of taking a neutral stance on such issues.
It is easy to understand the reasons for Turkey's political and military intervention in Syria - the conflict in Syria is also felt in Turkey. But Erdogan's intervention in Libya can be a surprise, according to the Liberation newspaper.
"We will go where we are invited," Erdogan stressed at a meeting of his Justice and Development Party's local and regional committees yesterday. "We will support by all means the government in Tripoli, which is fighting General coup, backed by Arab and European countries," he added, referring to Marshal Khalifa Haftar.
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