Libyans won't allow Turkey to fulfil its ambitions: Advisor to parliamentary speaker

Ahram Online , Monday 6 Jul 2020

Al-Marimi pointed out that Turkish intervention in Libya took place following a deal with Al-Sarraj's government, adding the intervention has 3 objectives that serve the interests of Turkey, not those of the Libyan people

FILE PHOTO: Libyan National Army (LNA): Reuters

Fathi Al-Marimi, advisor to the speaker of the eastern-based parliament in Libya Aguila Saleh, told Al-Arabiya on Monday that the Libyan people "will not let Turkey fulfil its ambitions" in the war-torn country.

Al-Marimi pointed out that the "Turkish intervention" in Libya took place following a deal with Fayez Al-Sarraj's government, adding the intervention has three objectives that serve the interests of Turkey, not those of the Libyan people.

The objectives, said Al-Marimi, include "stealing the money and wealths of the Libyan people amid the Turkish economy's decline and retreat and currency's collapse,... redrawing borders... (and) taking a share of the Mediterranean waters that it [Turkey] does not deserve."

He viewed the visit of Turkey's Defence Minister Hulusi Akar to Tripoli and meetings with his troops in Libya as a "blatant interference" in Libya's internal affairs.

Akar and the Chief of the General Staff Yasar Guler visited Libya on Friday to discuss activities carried out within the scope of the "memorandum of understanding on security and military cooperation,” which was signed last year.

After Akar's visit to Libya, Turkey agreed with Al-Sarraj to establish new training centres for militias in western Libya.

The Government of National Accord (GNA), which is based in Tripoli, is backed by Turkish troops and thousands of Syrian mercenaries in its war against the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) and its leader Khalifa Haftar.

Al-Marimi called on the international community to stop the Turkish intervention that violates international norms and laws.

He stressed that the Libyan parliament and people back Egypt's position on Libya as they oppose "the Turkish attempt to occupy Libya" and their attempts to threaten the red line of Sirte-Jufra.

Last month, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi  said Egypt has a legitimate right to intervene in Libya and ordered the army to be prepared to carry out any mission outside the country if necessary.

He added any intervention by Egypt would mainly be aimed at protecting Egypt’s western border, achieving a ceasefire, and restoring stability and peace in Libya, stressing that crossing the Sirte-Jufra frontline is a “red line” for Egypt.

Al-Marimi revealed that Russia promised to step in -- through its permanent membership in the UN Security Council -- to solve the Libyan crisis and expressed its willingness to open an embassy in Libya, though it will be based in Tunisia, and a consulate in Benghazi.

These developments came during Aguila Saleh's visit to Moscow last week. According to Al-Marimi, Saleh will also visit Switzerland and Italy to explain the ongoing situation in Libya.

Meanwhile, sources told Al-Arabiya on Monday that Turkish intelligence officials were wounded following the LNA air strikes on Al-Watiya air base on Sunday, which was recently captured by the GNA and its Turkish backers. The wounded were transferred to hospitals in Tripoli and Turkey.

Brigadier-General Khaled Al-Mahgoub, an LNA leading commander, told Al-Arabiya that similar strikes on Al-Watiya will soon take place. Al-Mahgoub also said that Turkish radars, military equipment and air defence systems were destroyed during the air strikes.

Turkey, according to sources who spoke to Reuters in June, is negotiating the establishment of two bases -- including one at Watiya -- with the GNA.

Al-Watiya is western Libya's most significant air base. 

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