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Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Tunisia refused request from Erdogan to use its territory for moving troops to Libya: Official

Ahram Online , Tuesday 7 Jan 2020
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, speaks with Tunisian President Kais Saied . ( AP)
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Views: 2942

The press adviser for the Tunisian president has said that her country has refused a Turkish request "to be cooperative in transporting Turkish arms and troops to Libya," Sky News Arabia said on Tuesday.

Rashida Elnefar told the pan-Arab news channel that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had last month asked his Tunisian counterpart Kais Saied to use Tunisian territory for the country’s planned military deployment to neighbouring Libya.

Turkey's president visited Tunis two weeks ago and met with Saied to discuss the conflict in Libya.

Saied refused the request, Elnefar said on Tuesday, saying that Erdogan was annoyed at the results of the talks, “which ended with President Saied refusing to use Tunisian land, airspace and maritime territory in any intervention in Libya."  

Erdogan had told reporters he and Saied discussed steps towards a ceasefire in Libya and a return to political dialogue.

The Tunisia visit followed two agreements Erdogan struck with the Libyan government that controls the capital, Tripoli, and some of the country's west.

The maritime and military agreements were condemned by the rival Libyan government in the east and the Libyan National Army, (LNA) led by commander General Khalifa Haftar.

The maritime agreement, which could give Turkey access to a contested economic zone across the eastern Mediterranean sea, has also been condemned by Greece, Cyprus and Egypt.

Saied, whose country shares a 400 kilometre (250 mile) border with Libya, had said that the Turkish-Libyan agreement delimiting the maritime borders between the two countries, "does not concern Tunisia," adding that it is a Turkish-Libyan issue.

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