BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:45 P.M.) – Turkey took another step towards providing military support to the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord last night when they signed a bilateral agreement, including provisions for launching a “rapid reaction force.”
Both Ankara and Tripoli reportedly signed the security agreement to prevent the Benghazi-based Libyan National Army (LNA) from taking over the remaining cities under the control of the GNA.
Although a maritime agreement was recently sent to the United Nations for approval, the military agreement was referred to the Turkish parliament . “The parliament will enter it into force after its approval,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoglu said on Sunday, as quoted by the Reuters News Agency.
It was not clear when the vote would take place in the parliament, which is dominated by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party.
Earlier, the Libyan National Army commander, Khalifa Hafter, urged his forces to advance to the center of Tripoli in what he called “the decisive battle” after his attack on the capital, which began in April.
On Saturday, Cavusoglu said that Libya had not yet requested the deployment of troops, an option that Erdogan spoke about last week.
The agreement, which will allow Turkey to support the army and police in Libya, is the latest Turkish move in the eastern Mediterranean that will likely stir tension with Egypt.