Turkey may not send troops to Libya if situation improves, says Turkish VP

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Fuat Oktay

Turkey may hold off from sending troops to Libya if forces loyal to eastern commander Khalifa Haftar halt their offensive against the internationally recognized government in Tripoli and pull back, Reuters reported, citing comments by the Turkish vice president on Wednesday.

The Turkish parliament is due to debate and vote on a motion mandating the deployment of military forces to Libya on Thursday after Fayez al-Serraj’s Government of National Accord (GNA) requested support as part of a military cooperation agreement.

“After the resolution is passed by parliament … we might see something different, a different stance, and they might say ‘OK, we are withdrawing, dropping the offensive’,” Fuat Oktay said in an interview with the Anadolu news agency. “Then, why would we go there?”

Oktay also said that Ankara hoped the Turkish motion would send a deterrent message to the warring parties.

Ankara has already sent military supplies to the GNA despite a United Nations embargo, according to a UN report seen by Reuters, and has said it will continue to support it.

Haftar’s forces have received support from Russia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan.

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