Three Turkish military cargo jets landed in the Government of National Accord (GNA) bases in Libya, shortly after the Libyan Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah announced that the maritime agreement between Turkey and the GNA will remain in force, Asharq Al-Awsat news site reported on Saturday.
Turkey and the Tripoli-based GNA signed a maritime agreement, as well as a military cooperation deal in November 2019.
However, under a U.N.-backed ceasefire signed on Oct. 23, foreign troops and mercenaries were to pull out of Libya within three months.
The U.S. on Jan.28, called for the immediate withdrawal of foreign troops to respect Libyan sovereignty. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Feb.9, said that the withdrawal of Turkish forces will be discussed only if other foreign troops are withdrawn from the country.
The U.N. estimates there are some 20,000 foreign troops and mercenaries in Libya helping the warring factions: the U.N.-recognised Government of National
Accord (GNA) in Tripoli and the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar in the east.
Turkey supports the U.N.-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) in the conflict with opposition forces in east Libya, led by rebel General Khalifa Haftar, who is backed by Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Russia, among other countries.
Ankara’s military support -including drones, intelligences and logistics, and supplying of arms and Islamist mercenaries – turned the tide against Haftar’s 14-month-long Tripoli offensive in the GNA’s favour last summer.
Abdulhamid Dbeibah was elected by Libyan representatives at U.N.-led peace talks last month and will head the war-torn country until national elections scheduled for December.
Dbeibah, a businessman from Misrata, is closely aligned with Turkey.