Europe will face terror threat if govt falls: Erdogan
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.