Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Tunisia Ups Security along Libya Border as Protests Erupt over Turkish Meddling

Tunisia Ups Security along Libya Border as Protests Erupt over Turkish Meddling

Sunday, 29 December, 2019 - 07:15
Turkey's President Erdogan meets with Tunisia's President Saied in Tunis, Tunisia, December 25, 2019. (Reuters)

Tunisia has intensified security along its eastern border with Libya in anticipation of any escalation in the neighboring country.

The security arrangements also come ahead of New Year celebrations, reported the German news agency (dpa).

Tunisia and Libya share a 500-kilometer border and two main border crossings.

Libyan National Army units, commanded by Khalifa Haftar, had raised their alert level in their bid to recapture the capital Tripoli from militias and criminal gangs loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA).

Tensions have flared in Libya after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced earlier this week that Ankara will send troops next month to the North African country at the GNA’s request.

An official in Tripoli confirmed a formal request had been made for Turkish military support in the air, on the ground and at sea.

Meanwhile, dozens of activists organized in Tunis on Saturday a demonstration in front of the Turkish embassy to protest against Erdogan’s recent visit to the country, reported dpa.

They also protested against Turkey’s planned military intervention in Libya and reports of Tunisia’s coordination in the issue.

The Tunisian presidency had denied such cooperation.

A spokeswoman for the protesters said that the solution to the conflict in Libya must be Libyan “in spite of the conspirators.” She also rejected Tunisia’s possible involvement, saying the people will stand against the conspiracy.

The protesters urged Tunisian President Kais Saied to issue a clear stance over Erdogan’s remarks that an agreement had been reached with Tunis to support the GNA.

Tunis had previously denied striking an alliance in the Libyan conflict, but it did not directly refute Erdogan’s claims.

Editor Picks