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Turkey Extends Troop Deployment in Libya for 18 Months

Turkey’s parliament on Tuesday voted to extend the deployment of troops in Libya for 18 additional months. The motion said, “If the attacks against the legitimate government start again, Turkey’s interests both in the Mediterranean basin and in North Africa will be adversely affected,” adding that Turkish troops would continue to provide military training and consultancy in the country. The ruling Justice and Development Party, Nationalist Movement Party, and Good Party supported the motion, while the Republican People’s Party and the Peoples’ Democratic Party objected. Also on Tuesday, the deputy chairman of Libya’s Presidency Council, Abdullah Hussein Al-Lafi, met in Ankara with Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay and in Istanbul with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. Ankara and Libya’s UN-recognized, Tripoli-based “government of national accord” signed two memoranda of understanding in 2019 on military cooperation and Eastern Mediterranean maritime boundaries; Turkey’s troop deployment mandate came into force in January 2020.