1 – 7 January 2020: Turkey’s parliament approves bill that enables sending troops to Libya

Jan 9, 2020 | International actors

On 1 January, the Arab League convened in an exceptional meeting in Cairo to address the rising escalation of conflict in Libya. The meeting failed to reach a consensus on how to de-escalate the conflict.

On 2 January, Turkey’s parliament held a special sitting in which it approved by a large majority a bill to enable troops to be deployed to Libya to support the Government of National Accord (GNA).  GNA’s Interior Minister Fathi Bashaagha said the GNA had requested Turkish support following a “dangerous escalation” in the conflict by Haftar’s forces and stressed that “the GNA is the singular entity with the right to formalize military alliances necessary to safeguard our nation.”

On 2 January, Egyptian President Abdul Fatah al-Sisi condemned in the “strongest terms” the Turkish parliament’s authorization of the deployment of troops to Libya, while US President Donald Trump warned Erdogan in a phone call the same day that foreign interference is complicating the situation in Libya. The United Nations General-Secretary Antonio Guterres also called for an immediate ceasefire in Libya and a return to political dialogue, stressing that any foreign support to warring parties will only deepen the ongoing conflict.

On 6 January, the GNA announced that a planned visit to Tripoli on 7 January by the newly appointed diplomat-in-chief of the EU Joseph Borrell and the foreign ministers of the UK, France, Germany and Italy had been postponed as a result of deteriorating conditions in the capital and wider region. The delegation was due to discuss the Berlin conference with GNA Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj.

On 6 January, Serraj arrived in Algeria to meet with the newly-elected Algerian President Abdulmajid Tebboune to discuss ways to resolve the situation in Libya, with the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also due in Algiers the same day.