Turkish Parliament to Discuss Troops for Libya, According to Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Ankara “will accept” an “invitation” from Libya to send troops to assist it in putting down a stubborn insurgency. “Since there is an invitation right now, we will accept it,” Erdogan told members of his AK Party on Thursday. “We will place the bill on sending troops to Libya on the agenda as soon as parliament opens.” Turkey’s lawmakers are set to reconvene in early January after a winter recess. Nevertheless, the interior minister of Libya’s United Nations-backed government indicated in statements made on Thursday during a visit to Tunis that an official invitation had yet to be issued. “If the situation escalates and we have the right to defend Tripoli and its residents… we will submit an official request to the Turkish government to support us militarily,” Fathi Bashagha said. Erdogan has been speaking about the possibility of sending troops to Libya since the two countries signed a maritime agreement in November that would see Tripoli support Ankara’s quest for carbon-based energy sources in contested Mediterranean waters.