Erdogan Calls on Europe to Back Turkey’s Moves in Libya

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on Europe to support its work in Libya, where it is providing military support to the internationally recognized government, if it wants to end the conflict there. Erdogan made his remarks in a column published on the Politico website on Saturday, ahead of a summit in Berlin on Sunday that will try to stabilize the country. At the meeting, Germany and the United Nations will push rival Libyan camps fighting over the capital, Tripoli, to agree to a truce and monitoring mechanism as first steps toward peace, diplomats and a draft communique said. Turkey supports the government of Fayez al-Serraj in Tripoli and describes Khalifa Haftar, who heads the eastern Libyan National Army (LNA), as a coup plotter. “Keeping in mind that Europe is less interested in providing military support to Libya, the obvious choice is to work with Turkey, which has already promised military assistance,” Erdogan wrote. “We will train Libya’s security forces and help them combat terrorism, human trafficking and other serious threats against international security,” he added. Conversation with MerkelAs the summit loomed, the Turkish president spoke by phone with its host, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, to discuss developments in Libya and the region, Erdogan’s office said. In a sign of tensions surrounding the Libyan issue, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu criticised Greece for hosting Haftar ahead of the summit in a tweet directed at Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias. “Inviting Haftar to Greece and highlighting Greek national agenda sabotage the efforts to bring peace to Libya. We would like to remind our Greek friends that these futile efforts are in vain. @NikosDendias,” Cavusoglu wrote. Sunday’s summit will put pressure on Haftar and the LNA to halt a nine-month offensive against Tripoli after a weeklong lull in fighting. But it will not try to broker power-sharing between the two sides, said diplomats briefed on preparations. 

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