This week, Ankara announced that it would deploy troops to support the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli in its fight against its opponents in the country’s east, the Libyan National Army (LNA), after ceasefire negotiations between the two in Moscow failed.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on the European Union to support his country’s mission to prop up the UN-recognised Government of National Accord’s (GNA) forces, warning in an op-ed in Politico that Europe’s security, stability and even political future depend on it. He argued that refusing to back the GNA “would be a betrayal of [the EU’s] own core values”, such as support for democracy and human rights.
Erdogan also specifically stressed the potential harm that the Libyan conflict could cause to Europe if it remains unresolved.
“Europe will encounter a fresh set of problems and threats if Libya’s legitimate government were to fall. Terrorist organizations such as Daesh* and Al Qaeda*, which suffered a military defeat in Syria and Iraq, will find a fertile ground to get back on their feet […] If the conflict rages on, the violence and instability will also fuel irregular migration toward Europe”, he warned.
The Turkish president further argued that the EU needs to prove to the world that “it is a relevant actor in the international arena” and engage in resolving the Libyan conflict, beyond “simply complaining and expressing concern”.