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2 Jan, 2020 21:07

Foreign interference could ‘complicate’ Libya, Turkey’s Erdogan is told… by Trump

Foreign interference could ‘complicate’ Libya, Turkey’s Erdogan is told… by Trump

None other than US President Donald Trump has stood up against foreign intervention in Libya, warning his NATO ally Turkey that its planned military deployment there could make the situation in the North African country worse.

During the phone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday, “President Trump pointed out that foreign interference is complicating the situation in Libya,” the White House said in a statement. 

No further details were given, but the call took place just after the Turkish legislature voted 325 to 184 to approve sending troops to the North African country,  in order to prop up Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and his Government of National Accord (GNA).

Also on rt.com Turkish parliament backs govt plan to send troops to Libya in emergency session

Though the GNA is the internationally recognized government of Libya, most of the country is actually controlled by a rival government in Tobruk and troops of the Libyan National Army (LNA) loyal to General Khalifa Haftar. The GNA has been reduced to the area around the capital, Tripoli, which the LNA has sought to capture since April 2019.

Readout of the call given by Erdogan’s cabinet merely said the two leaders had “stressed the importance of diplomacy in resolving regional issues,” without making it clear whether Washington endorsed Ankara’s decision or opposed it.

Erdogan’s bid to back Tripoli against Tobruk resembles his power play in northern Syria in October, in that it is apparently unilateral and neither coordinated nor cleared with its NATO allies. One major distinction is that the Syrian incursion was aimed against the legitimate government in Damascus, as well as the US-backed Kurdish militias. 

Also on rt.com Imperial delusion: Turkey sending troops to Libya would be no solution to the chaos caused by the 2011 NATO intervention

Trump advising against “foreign interference” is of course ironic on a whole different scale, given the US assertion of a free hand to intervene anywhere, anytime, against anyone – from illegally keeping troops in Iraq and Syria to launching a regime-change operation in Libya itself, back in 2011. At the time, NATO bombers provided cover for militants to overthrow the government of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and plunge Libya into a chaos from which it has yet to recover.

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