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Turkey Reinforces Libya Interventions by Building ‘GNA Army’

Turkey Reinforces Libya Interventions by Building ‘GNA Army’

Sunday, 5 July, 2020 - 12:00
Head of Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj receives Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar (L), in the Libyan capital Tripoli on July 3, 2020. (AFP)
Cairo, New York- Ali Barada and Khalid Mahmoud

Head of Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj said that he discussed on Saturday with Defense Minister Hulusi Akar military and security cooperation. Talks covered defense and security training programs under a deal signed by Sarraj and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in November last year.

GNA deputy defense minister Salaheddine al-Namroush revealed that training centers will be inaugurated to ‘build a professional army’ and reinforce coordination between the two defense ministries.

This center indicates that Turkey intends to oversee the training programs of the GNA, thus seeking to offer forces supporting it in Tripoli a kind of legitimacy, according to reliable Libyan sources.

For his part, Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Haftar said that Libya is witnessing a military escalation with developed and dangerous weapons, in addition to a Turkish invasion exposing Libya and the region to a crisis and threatening the international peace.

Haftar accused the GNA of destabilizing the south of the country -- he reiterated his conditions to resume the political process as well as oil production and exports.

According to Libya’s Alhadath TV, Haftar notified UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during their last phone call that the political process necessitated ensuring security and stability, dissolving and disarming militias, and clearing mercenaries.

In this context, speaker of the Libyan House of Representatives Aguila Saleh stated to Sputnik International that Turkish armament of GNA forces is a ‘violation of the arms embargo’. Responding to a question, Saleh said that Turkey sent Libya 14,000 to 15,000 Syrian mercenaries to fight, two days ago.

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