The Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said Saturday that Ankara and Tripoli would be continuing cooperation in military training as per the agreements signed in 2019, which was extended by the Turkish Parliament for 18 months.
Akar, who arrived heading a delegation in Tripoli on Saturday morning, said Turkish responses to Khalifa Haftar’s threats will come at the right time, adding that Haftar isn’t in the same category as Turkey’s ally the Government of National Accord and that he is just a means used to execute foreign agendas in Libya.
The Turkish Defense Minister said Haftar is not playing his war game alone, rather there are foreign parties carrying out missions in Libya, reiterating that Ankara is and will be always standing by Libyans.
Akar and the Turkish military delegation’s visit came Saturday just a couple of days after Haftar’s threats to go to war with Turkey over what he described as “intervention in Libya”.
The Turkish visit was interpreted by observers as a very straightforward answer from Ankara to warlord Haftar, telling him that Turkey will always support the legitimate government in Libya despite his continuous attempts to undermine it.
Akar met a number of officials on his visit to Libya, including the Libyan Defense Minister Salah Al-Namroush and the Head of the High Council of State Khalid Al-Mishri.
The Libyan and Turkish Defense Ministers discussed issues of mutual interests as the latter passed Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s congratulations to Libyans on the 69th anniversary of Independence, wishing that next year’s ceremony would be in security and stability.
The Libyan Defense Minister said the Turkish military delegation’s visit aimed to reiterate Ankara’s support for the legitimate Government of National Accord in Libya and to continue cooperation in Libyan Army training programs.
Al-Namroush hailed Turkey’s role in supporting GNA, saying cooperation agreements with Ankara include restructuring Libyan Army cadres to raise their capabilities as per international standards.
Al-Namroush added that Libyan Army batches had graduated and new training centers were opened for the purpose of becoming a united army loyal to the whole territory that is Libya, saying “We will continue to improve the the Libyan military institution to become loyal only to the homeland”.