Libya’s Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) has today vetoed a request for the deployment of Turkish troops to the war-torn country by the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA).
Last Thursday, Turkey’s parliament voted in favour of a one year deployment of Turkish forces to Libya. The UN-backed GNA had requested Turkish assistance in its fight to against the eastern Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and backed by Russia, Egypt, and the UAE.
Ankara’s interests in Libya are multifaceted. Politically, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has championed an expansionist foreign policy that is reminiscent of the Ottoman Empire. The vision has been a pillar of his nationalist politics at home and includes Libya, a former Ottoman province. Additionally, amid isolation in the energy sector vis-à-vis combined Greek, Israeli, Cypriot and Egyptian exploration efforts, Turkey is looking to cement its oil interests in the eastern Mediterranean by gaining access to Libyan reserves.
Though the Libyan HoR has vetoed Turkish intervention, with political and economic interest on the line, Erdogan is unlikely to back down. As Haftar’s forces continue to push into Tripoli, expect a stronger Turkish presence in the country, likely in the form of greater air support to counter the strength of Haftar’s aerial drones.
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Max is Foreign Brief's Chief Executive Officer. A Latin America specialist, Max is an expert in regional political and economic trends, focusing particularly on the Southern Cone.