Egypt, a regional rival of Turkey, has condemned the Turkish parliament’s authorization to send troops to Libya and warned of the consequences.
“Egypt condemns in the strongest terms this step that violates United Nations resolutions,” the Foreign Ministry says in a statement.
“The Arab Republic of Egypt also warns of repercussions of any Turkish military intervention in Libya and confirms that this intervention will negatively affect stability in the Mediterranean Sea region,” the statement added.
Turkey’s parliament authorized military intervention in Libya on Thursday by voting in favour of a one-year mandate to deploy troops in the midst of an escalating civil war.
The motion passed by 325 votes in favour and 184 against, as Turkey seeks to support the embattled UN-backed government in Tripoli, which faces an offensive by a rival regime trying to overrun the capital.
An emergency session was called to discuss the motion, which will allow the government to decide on the timing and scope of any deployment and the number of armed forces to be sent.
Meanwhile Libyan militia leader Khalifa Haftar had asked Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi for military support as his forces failed to capture Libya’s capital, Egyptian sources told The New Arab’s Arabic-language service.
Haftar appealed to Egypt’s political leadership while on a two-day visit to the country with Speaker of the Tobruk-based House of Representatives Aqila Saleh.
Libya has been mired in conflict since a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 toppled and killed dictator Muammar Gaddafi, with rival administrations in the east and the west vying for power.
Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) launched an offensive in April to take the capital from the internationally recognised government, making rapid gains before being stalled on the edge of the capital.
Haftar told Sisi that if Egypt provided soldiers, the battle for Libya’s capital would be resolved within a few hours.
Haftar further demanded Egypt mobilise the international community to prevent Turkish troops from entering the Libyan conflict.
The Libyan general reportedly told Sisi “by the time the first batch of Turkish soldiers arrive in Libya, the battle will be over, and you find Erdogan’s soldiers on your border,” a source who was briefed on Haftar’s meeting in Cairo told The New Arab.
The Arab League, in a Tuesday meeting at its Cairo headquarters requested by Egypt, called for efforts to “prevent foreign interference” in Libya, in the wake of military and maritime agreements signed by Turkey with the UN-recognised government in Tripoli.
Permanent representatives of the pan-Arab organisation passed a resolution “stressing the necessity to prevent interference that could contribute to facilitating the arrival of foreign extremists in Libya”.
On Monday, the UN’s Libya envoy, Ghassan Salame, said the deals signed by Turkey and the Tripoli government represented an “escalation” of the conflict wracking the North African country.