Turkey and Russia had earlier brokered a ceasefire in Libya between Fayez al-Sarraj and Khalifa Haftar. (Photo Credit: File photo)
Just before the Libya peace conference in Berlin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Europe of threats from terrorist organisations if Libya’s UN-recognised government under Fayez al-Sarraj fails in Tripoli. In an article published in Politico on Saturday, Erdogan wrote that if EU fails to support the Government of National Accord (GNA), it would be “a betrayal of its own core values, including democracy and human rights”.
The Libyan government recognised by the United Nations led by Fayez al-Sarraj has been under attack since April from strongman Khalifa Haftar’s forces based in the east of the country and the conflict has till now claimed the lives of over 280 civilians and 2,000 fighters.
Moreover, Turkey and Russia had earlier brokered a ceasefire in Libya between Fayez al-Sarraj and Khalifa Haftar but the later walked away from the talks in Moscow.
Ankara has accused Haftar of fleeing to Moscow and has vowed to “teach (him) a lesson” if he resorts to fighting again.
Taking a veiled dig at Haftar, the Turkish president said that to leave Libya at the mercy of a warlord would be a ‘mistake of historic proportions’.
“Europe will encounter a fresh set of problems and threats if Libya’s legitimate government were to fall”, Erdogan adds.
He also said, “Terrorist organisations such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda, which suffered a military defeat in Syria and Iraq, will find a fertile ground to get back on their feet.”
Ankara backs Sarraj and the Turkish parliament had earlier approved the deployment of troops to Libya after it signed the controversial security and maritime deal with Libya.
(With inputs from agencies)