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Cyprus, Italy Warn Against Turkish Military Intervention in Libya

Libyan House Speaker Aguila Saleh on Saturday asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, Nikos Christodoulides, whom he met in Larnaca, to convey a message to the European Union regarding the situation in his country according to the Associated Press.

As reported by the Cyprus News Agency, Saleh asked the Cypriot Foreign Minister to convey to the EU the message that the Libyans must decide for themselves and Turkey should not be involved in the crisis his country is in.

Along with Christodoulides, Saleh met with the House Speaker of Cyprus Dimitris Syllouris.

More specifically, Saleh said that Turkish troops on Libyan ground would mean complete destabilization not only of his country but of the entire region. Libya is divided between Fayez Al-Sarraj’s weak administration based in Tripoli and the opposing forces of General Khalifa Haftar.

Earlier in the week, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated that his country is considering sending soldiers to Libya if there is an invitation from Tripoli, and the Al-Sarraj’s internationally recognised government.

Meanwhile in Italy, Premier Giuseppe Conte said in his last speech of the year that he has tried to discourage any attempt at a military solution for Libya.

Conte, who discussed Libya with Erdogan in a phone call last week, told reporters on Saturday that a “proxy war in Libya” would, “instead of stabilizing” the North African country across the Mediterranean from Italy, would only aggravate the “incredible fragmentation” there.

“I implored Turkish President Erdogan” against military involvement, Conte said.
Any such intervention, Conte ventured, “would give way to an incredible military escalation, that would have so many civilian victims and be without a victory for anyone.”

On the other side, Erdogan said that the Tripoli government request for military support from Turkey will be discussed in the Turkish Parliament on Monday.


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