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Libya’s eastern government rejects security deal with Turkey

In this file photo taken on April 13, 2019 Aguila Saleh Issa, speaker of Libya's House of Representatives chairs the first session for the assembly at its new headquarters in the second city of Benghazi in the eastern part of the country controlled by strongman Khalifa Haftar.

Libya’s eastern-based administration has rejected a security deal between the UN-backed government and Turkey, saying plans by Ankara to deploy troops to the North African country would be seen as a form of unwanted intervention.

Speaker of Libya’s parliament Aguila Saleh said on Saturday that a recent maritime border deal signed deal between the Government of National Accord (GNA), based in the capital Tripoli, and Turkish government was a “flagrant violation of international law” because the legislature in Libya's second city of Benghazi must approve the agreement.

Speaking in Cyprus, where he was meeting officials of the country, Saleh said the GNA has no legal mandate to sign an agreement with other countries without obtaining the consent of the parliament and a nine-member presidential council.

He also said that plans by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to send troops to Libya would lead to more tensions in the Mediterranean and would constitute unwanted meddling in the internal affairs of Libya.

Erdogan said on Thursday that he was mulling a deployment in Libya at the request of the GNA to counter increasing threats posed by eastern forces led by renegade army general Khalifa Haftar.

The announcement has sparked massive controversy both in Libya and outside of the country as many fear that the deployment would further complicate the situation in the oil-rich North African country years after it slipped into chaos after the fall of the former strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

Saleh accused Erdogan of sending weapons to Libya while saying that the Turkish president was seeking to expand his control across the globe.

He said Erdogan was trying to capitalize on divisions existing in Libya to create economic advantages for his government in the eastern Mediterranean region.

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