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Turkish parliament extends law for troop deployment to Libya

The Libyan Address Journal

Turkey’s parliament extended for 18 months a law that allows the deployment of Turkish troops to Libya.

The bill renewed a one-year mandate that came into force in January following a security and military agreement with the administration in Tripoli, in western Libya.

The Turkish decision Tuesday comes in the wake of a U.N.-brokered cease-fire in Libya that was declared in October. The cease-fire deal envisioned the departure of foreign forces and mercenaries within three months.

Opposition parties voted against the extension but the combined votes of Turkey’s ruling party and its nationalist allies allowed the bill to pass.

Ankara’s support for the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord has turned the tide of war in Libya. Turkish military assistance — including advisors, equipment and intelligence — helped block a year-long military attempt to capture Tripoli by forces of the Libyan National Army.

Turkey has been accused of sending thousands of Syrian mercenaries to Libya. It also signed a controversial maritime agreement with the Tripoli government last year, giving it access to a contested economic zone across the eastern Mediterranean Sea. The deal added tensions to Turkey’s ongoing dispute with Greece, Cyprus, and Egypt over oil and gas drilling rights.

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