LIBYA: Turkey Eyes Cooperation With Malta In Ongoing Crisis

By Janet Eksract

ISTANBUL (TURKISH JOURNAL) – On Thursday, at a meeting in Tripoli with Libya’s Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj,  Turkey and Malta agreed on joint coordination between the three nations while reiterating continued support for Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA). Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu left for Malta to pay a visit to Evarista Bartolo, the minister for European and Foreign Affairs on Thursday prior to their visit to Libya where they touched on interregional issues.

During the meeting, all three nations emphasized the necessity of strengthening Libya’s southern borders while fighting human trafficking and smuggling. All three ministers reiterated the danger that illegal migration is causing to the EU and Libya.  Turkey and Malta said they will support the GNA in eliminating illegal migration and made it clear that EU participation is crucial in “tackling the root causes of illegal migration by helping the development of source countries.”

 In addition, all agreed to set up a joint working team to coordinate efforts and cooperation to facilitate agreements into concrete and practical projects. Both Cavusoglu and Bartolo made it clear they support the GNA in Tripoli, saying: “There is no military solution to the Libyan crisis and stability and security of Libya are of great significance.”

Meanwhile, Cavusoglu lashed out at Germany’s handling of the Irini operation to enforce the UN arms embargo – accusing Germany of being biased. Turkey’s foreign minister warned Germany that it has taken a step in the wrong direction where Irini is concerned. Operation Irini began in May with the goal of blocking illegal weapons into Libya along with a monitoring system to ensure all countries abide by the UN arms embargo. Turkey’s foreign minister reminded Germany that it had a responsibility as the host of the Berlin Conference to make sure all nations commit to the UN arms embargo. But the embargo has been repeatedly violated by the very nations who signed off on the commitment in January 2020. The main reason Turkey doesn’t support the Irini EU operation is because Turkish officials said it is ineffective and selective since it fails to intercept arms from Russia, Egypt, the UAE and other nations who are major supporters of the warlord Khalifa Haftar whose aim has been to overthrow the Libyan government.

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