Turkey will not allow ambiguity in Libya, says VP Oktay

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Saturday Turkey would not allow any ambiguity in the Mediterranean, as he reiterated Ankara’s support for Libya’s U.N. recognised government, state-run Anadolu agency reported.

Oktay said conflict conditions in the region “come at a great cost” to Turkey, and called for the recognition of Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) by General Khalifa Haftar, who has been fighting for control of the country with his self-styled, Russian-backed Libyan National Army.

“Violence escalated in Libya because the warmonger Khalifa Haftar attempted to topple the legitimate government with support from countries like the United Arab Emirates, France and Egypt,” Oktay said.

Turkey has wanted “nothing but a stable neighbour” in Libya, like it has in Syria, he continued, adding that the countries share common interests in the Mediterranean. As such, Turkey will “make sure the legitimate government cannot be threatened by any dictator or any terrorist like Haftar,” Oktay said.

Turkey’s recent military support for the GNA following a military deal signed late last year has changed the balance of power in its favour, the Russian Defence Ministry said.

Following a maritime deal redefining Turkey’s territory in the Mediterranean, Turkey agreed to send to the GNA military advisers and intelligence personnel, equipment including drones, and hundreds of Syrian mercenaries it recruited.

Turkey will be in Libya, “no matter what the outcome,” Oktay said. “(Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan) has made that very open to the rest of the world.”