Turkey will continue to support Libya’s internationally recognized government, despite the announcement last week that Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj plans to resign by the end of next month, according to President Spokesman Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Ibrahim Kalin said on Monday that Turkey’s support for bilateral agreements, including a security agreement and a maritime border agreement signed last year with the Tripoli-based National Agreement (GNA) government, will continue.
Kalin told the Demiroren News Agency that “since these agreements are decisions made by the government, not individuals, it will not be affected by this political period.”
Late last year, Ankara agreed that GNA and Turkey would grant drilling rights across the corridors of the eastern Mediterranean. Many of them are the same within the maritime jurisdiction that Greece claims. Greek, Cyprus, and other local activists condemned the Turkey-Libyan agreement as “illegal”, which Turkey denied.
Kalin said Turkish officials will be visiting Tripoli “in the future” to discuss progress, following Al-Sarraj’s announcement.
Erdogan also hinted at upcoming talks, expressing regret for the intimate allies’ intention to hand over power by the end of October.
Erdogan said on Friday that “since we received this kind of news, these advances have of course saddened us.”
“We also gave him some news,” he added. “Through this meeting, God is willing to take this matter for granted,” Erdogan continued without elaborating.
Since 2014, oil-rich Libya has been divided into rivals based in the West and East, sometimes with chaotic wars that drew outside forces and a flood of foreign weapons and mercenaries.
Al-Saraj has been leading the GNA since its establishment in late 2015 as a result of a UN-mediated political agreement to unite and stabilize Libya following the chaos following the overthrow of longtime leader Muam Mar Gadafi in 2011.
Turkey’s military support to the GNA in June made it possible to repel the 14-month offensive of troops loyal to Khalifa Haftar, the traitor commander of the East, backed by the UAE, Egypt and Russia.
The GNA declared a ceasefire last month and called for a lift of months of blockades on oil production. East Libya’s rival parliamentary leader has also appealed for an end to hostilities, offering hopes that conflict will diminish across Libya after the 2011 uprising.
Haftar dismissed the request, but said Friday that he would lift his blockade of oil production for a month and agreed with GNA on a “fair distribution” of energy imports.
Al Jazeera and news agency