The European Union called Tuesday on Turkey to stop its “interference” in conflict-ravaged Libya.
Speaking after talks with the foreign ministers of Britain, France, Germany and Italy in Brussels, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Turkey’s decision to deploy troops “is something that we reject and increases our worries about the situation in Libya.”
“The over-riding urgency is to stop the fighting in and around Tripoli,” Borrell said. “Any escalation and also any outside interference will only make the conflict more protracted, bring more misery to ordinary people in Libya, exacerbate divisions in the country and increase the risk of its partition.”
"Continuing outside interference is fueling the crisis. The more the Libyan warring parties rely on foreign military assistance, the more they give external actors undue influence on sovereign Libyan decisions, to the detriment of the country's national interests and of regional stability."
The Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), headed by Fayez al-Sarraj, has faced an offensive by the Libyan National Army (LNA), commanded by Khalifa Haftar.
Turkey’s parliament authorized the deployment of troops to Libya last Thursday at the GNA’s request, following a deal on sending military experts and weapons signed into law in December.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkish soldiers were “already going gradually” to Libya. He said Turkish soldiers were tasked with “coordination” at a command center.
Borrell said the fighting in Libya “is worsening day by day and the solution … has to be a political negotiation.”
The EU criticism follows a blunt warning from US President Donald Trump to Erdogan at the weekend not to interfere in the conflict.