Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met his counterpart in Tunisia on Wednesday to discuss the conflict in neighbouring Libya, whose UN-recognised unity government has signed a military deal with Ankara.
During a news briefing after meeting former law professor Qais Saied, who took up office as president in October.’, President Erdogan said, “We discussed ways to cooperate to reach a cease-fire in Libya and restart the political process”.
The Turkish parliament on Saturday ratified a security and military cooperation deal that was signed with the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) last month.
“The impact of the negative developments in Libya is not limited to that country but also affects neighbouring countries, Tunisia first and foremost,” Erdogan said during his brief visit.
“There must be a ceasefire in Libya as soon as possible.”
Tunisia shares a long border with Libya and thousands of Libyans have sought refuge on Tunisian soil since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising which toppled the regime of longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi.
“I wonder what they’re doing in Libya?” Erdogan said.
“If Turkey is invited (to send troops), we will accept, because at least we have an agreement” with the GNA, he added.
Ankara has received international criticism for its deal with the GNA and a separate maritime jurisdiction agreement, also signed in November.
In November, Greece slammed Turkey and Libya for signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the establishment of maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean Sea.
Earlier, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos spoke on the phone with French President Emmanuel Macron about Turkey’s agreement with Libya.
(With inputs from agency)