Erdogan: Turkey will consider withdrawing troops from Libya if other forces withdraw first

Alwasat - Cairo Tue 09 Feb 2021, 10:06 PM
alwasat radio

Turkey "will consider withdrawing its troops from Libya if other foreign forces withdraw first," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.

Speaking at an event in Ankara, Erdogan stressed that "members of the Turkish armed forces were deployed in Libya only to train units loyal to the internationally recognized Government of National Accord based in Tripoli," Reuters reported.

At the end of last December, the Turkish parliament agreed to "extend the tasks of Turkish forces in Libya by 18 months." 

The 90-day deadline set by the Libya ceasefire agreement signed on 23 October for the departure of all foreign fighters and mercenaries from Libya expired on 23 January.

The former Acting Special Representative of the UN secretary-general for Libya, Stephanie Williams, revealed in December that there were 20,000 "foreign troops and mercenaries" in Libya, calling it an "appalling" violation of national sovereignty. It also noted the existence of ten military bases in Libya, partially or completely occupied by foreign forces and mercenaries.

Foreign powers should withdraw troops and mercenaries from Libya as part of the implementation of the ceasefire agreement, Williams said in January, arguing that countries that maintain troops in the country "challenge Libya's sovereignty."

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