Arab League warns Turkey not to send terrorists to Libya: Sullying of NATO
Nuray Lydia Oglu and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The Arab League (AL) is nervous about the ambitions of Turkey in escalating an already fragile Libya. This relates to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and his plan to enter the conflict in Libya. However, the majority of nations in the Arabic speaking world are opposed to Turkey assisting the Government of National Accord (GNA).
Indeed, the majority of nations in the Arabic speaking world either support non-interference – or back the Libyan National Army (LNA). Thus, Turkey is once more intent on forcing its geopolitical ambitions on Libya just like in Northern Syria, irrespective if not supported internationally or regionally. Therefore, the AL is extremely concerned given the usage of ISIS (Islamic State – IS) and other sectarian and terrorist forces by Turkey in Northern Syria.
Alarmingly, it appears that Erdogan once more plans to utilize battled hardened terrorists and jihadists, replicating the anti-Kurdish angle in Northern Syria. Hence, the silence or lack of reigning in Turkey by NATO is extremely worrying. After all, is NATO now to be known for allowing fellow members to utilize ISIS factions and other jihadists for certain geopolitical goals?
Haaretz reports, “Turkey has said it will seek parliamentary support for sending troops to Libya, and senior Turkish sources have said Ankara is also considering sending allied Syrian fighters as part of the deployment.”
Recently, President Emmanuel Macron warned about the sullying of NATO based on Erdogan’s policies. Macron, angry about Turkey’s campaign against the Kurds in Northern Syria, uttered, “When I look at Turkey they are fighting against those who fought with us shoulder to shoulder against ISIS (Islamic State) and sometimes they work with ISIS proxies.”
He continued, “I think any ambiguity with Turkey vis-a-vis these groups is detrimental to everybody for the situation on the ground.”
However, the weakness of other NATO powers including America, Germany, and the United Kingdom means that Erdogan feels emboldened. Thus, the AL is extremely worried about the possible actions of Turkey in Libya.
The AL issued a statement that condemns“Regional interventions that help among other things in facilitating the transfer of foreign extremist fighters from other regional conflict zones to Libya”
Turkey’s ambitions under Erdogan are also setting off alarm bells in the Eastern Mediterranean. Thus, Ahram Online reports, “Last month, Ankara signed two separate accords with the GNA, one on security and military cooperation and another on maritime boundaries in the eastern Mediterranean, a move rejected as a violation of international law by various countries including Egypt, France, Cyprus and Greece.”
Egypt is adamant that Libya needs to avoid the ambitions of Turkey because the knock-on effects will be extremely alarming. President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt uttered strongly, “Cairo’s stance on the Libyan crisis is clear as it is focused on restoring safety and stability in Libya, supporting anti-terrorism efforts, undermining the activities of armed groups and putting an end to the illegal foreign interference in Libya’s domestic affairs.”
Overall, NATO members need to reign in Turkey and its usage of using ISIS proxies in Northern Syria – and threatening to do the same in Libya. If not, then the sullying of NATO will reach a new low. Similarly, the ambitions of Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean need curtailing because viable institutions and regional networks are needed to solve complex issues – where all sides are listened. Therefore, it is essential that political elites in Ankara listen to the concerns of the AL in order to reach a solution to the crisis – rather than igniting new tensions and further destabilizing an already fragile Libya.
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