Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan announced on December 26 that Turkey will send its troops to Libya on the request of the northern African country. Erdogan said that he will propose deployment legislation in the Turkish parliament when it re-opens in January. Turkish President has visited Tunisia on December 25 to discuss the corporation for a possible ceasefire in Libya. In a speech on Thursday, Turkey and Tunisia agreed to support the internationally recognised government of Fayez al-Serraj in Libya.
Turkey and the United Nations-recognised Libyan government had reportedly signed a military accord, however, Greece raised an objection to a memorandum on maritime boundaries. Greece called the accord of understanding on security and military between Ankara and Tripoli as the violation of the international law. Athens accused both countries of signing a deal in bad faith and in violation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Greece said that the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Turkey and Libya cannot be adjacent as they don’t have a joint maritime border.
Libya has been in a state of unrest since 2011 after the NATO-backed uprising toppled the longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi. The Libyan government which is currently concerned with the battle against Libyan National Army is yet to ratify its deal with Turkey. The agreement would provide Turkey and Libya exclusive access to the zones across the Mediterranean despite the objections from Greece, Egypt and Cyprus. The possible ceasefire in Syria could help Libya ratify the contentious bill which makes Erdogan’s visit to Tunisia extremely important.
However, with the recent developments between Tripoli and Ankara, the US State Department expressed 'concern' over Libya's request for Turkish military support. The maritime agreement between both countries has reportedly alienated the traditional European supports. As a response to the US, the foreign minister of Libyan government, Mohamed Sayala, said that the UN-supported government is Libya's 'legitimate and sole representative' and urging Washington to show 'clear and open position' against Khalifa Hifter’s army's advance on Tripoli which has been trying to capture it since April.