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Turkey Threatens to Launch 'Military Operations' in the Mediterranean

Turkey Threatens to Launch 'Military Operations' in the Mediterranean

Wednesday, 25 December, 2019 - 11:30
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with Fayez al Sarraj, head of Libya's Government of National Accord (GNA) | (File photo: Presidential Press Office)

Turkish authorities threatened the use of force to “protect their interests” in the eastern Mediterranean region, praising the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), chaired by Fayez al-Sarraj, on the demarcation of the maritime borders in the Mediterranean region.

The spokesman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK), Omer Celik, said his country uses force to protect its national interests in the event there was a desire to establish a Turkish opposition organization anywhere.

Celik was referring to the trilateral agreement announced by Greece, Cyprus, and Israel on the gas pipeline to Europe during 2020, as well as the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum led by Egypt.

Speaking at AK’s Central Executive Board meeting, Celik noted that through the MoU signed with the GNA, Turkey has responded in a legal and diplomatic way to anyone trying to impose a specific policy and ignore its interests in the eastern Mediterranean.

He confirmed that the Turkish air force will continue to raise its flag in the eastern Mediterranean and that Ankara will only consider its national interests.

For his part, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said his country will stick to the memorandum it has concluded with Libya.

Oktay Turkey and Libya have the right to make joint decisions on maritime boundaries with their neighbors.

“When the stability of the region is at stake, we will make the necessary military cooperation and walk with our friends,” Oktay added.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara was ready to increase its military support to Libya if necessary and would evaluate ground, air, and marine options.

On December 21, the Turkish Parliament approved an MoU on security and military cooperation with Sarraj government. It included cooperation in the areas of security and military training, defense industries, counter-terrorism, and illegal migration.

They are also cooperating on logistics and maps, military planning, transfer of expertise, and the establishment of a mutual defense and security cooperation office if requested.

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