Europe will face ter­ror threat if govt falls: Er­do­gan

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

Istanbul, Turkey - Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan has warned Europe it could face new threats from ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tions if Libya’s UN-recog­nised govern­ment in Tripoli were to fall.

In the ar­ti­cle, pub­lished on Sat­ur­day on the eve of a Libya peace con­fer­ence in Ber­lin, Er­do­gan said the EU’s fail­ure to ad­e­quately sup­port the Govern­ment of Na­tional Ac­cord (GNA) would be ‘a be­trayal of its own core val­ues, in­clud­ing democ­racy and hu­man rights’.

The GNA led by Fayez al Sar­raj has been un­der at­tack since April from strong­man Khal­ifa Haf­tar’s forces based in the east of the coun­try, with fight­ing killing over 280 civil­ians and 2,000 fight­ers.

‘Europe will en­counter a fresh set of prob­lems and threats if Libya’s le­git­i­mate govern­ment were to fall,’ Er­do­gan wrote. ‘Ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tions such as ISIS and Al Qaeda, which suf­fered a mil­i­tary de­feat in Syria and Iraq, will find a fer­tile ground to get back on their feet.’

In a joint ini­tia­tive, Turkey and Rus­sia have bro­kered a cease­fire but Haf­tar walked away from talks in Moscow this week aimed at fi­nal­is­ing the truce agree­ment.

A fu­ri­ous Er­do­gan ac­cused Haf­tar of flee­ing Moscow and said he would ‘teach (him) a les­son’ if he re­sumed fight­ing.

Er­do­gan’s govern­ment backs Sar­raj and the Turk­ish par­lia­ment ear­lier this month ap­proved the de­ploy­ment of troops to Libya af­ter the sign­ing of con­tro­ver­sial se­cu­rity and mar­itime deals be­tween Tripoli and Ankara.

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