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16 Jan, 2020 14:14

Turkey should use ‘diplomacy, not troops,’ to help resolve Libya conflict

Turkey should use ‘diplomacy, not troops,’ to help resolve Libya conflict

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's decision to send troops to Libya risks upending ongoing diplomatic efforts to resolve the country's military conflict peacefully, analysts told RT.

How involved Turkish forces will become in the conflict depends largely on how the situation develops on the ground in Libya, as well as the outcome of the upcoming summit in Berlin to discuss the issue, Osman Faruk Logoglu, former Turkish ambassador to the United States, told RT.

While Turkish troops are already training forces loyal to the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), Ankara should avoid a larger military role, Logoglu argued.

Turkish military involvement in the conflict in Libya would be wrong. Turkey should not be militarily involved. Turkey should be diplomatically involved in Libya, talking to both sides and trying to bring the two sides together.

He noted that the Berlin summit on Sunday will build on previous talks in Moscow and offer the possibility of a diplomatic breakthrough.

READ MORE: Libya’s Sarraj & Haftar confirm participation in Berlin conference – report

The troop deployments are part of a security agreement inked between Ankara and Tripoli. Mustafa Fetouri, a Libyan academic and journalist, suggested that Erdogan could be eyeing more than just military training and advising in Libya. The Turkish forces represent an "outpost of probable longer-term Turkish presence in Libya, which is totally rejected by the majority of Libyans," Fetouri told RT.

Also on rt.com Erdogan sending Turkish troops to Libya ahead of Berlin peace talks

He warned that Ankara's decision could "spoil the party" in Berlin, where Turkey is set to discuss the conflict with Germany, Russia, Britain and Italy.

Turkey has vowed to support the GNA's fight against Libyan militia leader Khalifa Haftar and his Libyan National Army. Negotiations in Moscow aimed at brokering a ceasefire fell apart, with Erdogan warning that he would teach Haftar a "lesson" if he continues his campaign against the UN-backed government. Turkey, however, said that it had not completely given up on a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

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