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Turkish vote to send troops to Libya concerns Italian lawmakers

03 gennaio 2020 | 18.55
LETTURA: 1 minuti

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Photo by Lorenzo Tugnoli for The Washington Post

Turkey's parliamentary vote to deploy troops to Libya stokes tensions at a critical time for the war-torn country and could hamper efforts to stabilise it, lawmakers from the ruling 5-Star Movement said on Friday.

"The Turkish parliament's decision to support a military intervention in Libya can only be a cause for concern and will worsen tensions at what is already a dramatic moment," said 5-Star members of the parliament's foreign affairs committee in a statement.

Stablising Libya will only become more difficult with any foreign military intervention, the lawmakers argued.

"We continue to underline our view that the Libyan conflict can only be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy," the statement said.

"The goal has always been to avoid headlong rushes and to keep to a peace process mediated by the United Nations. This is crucial for the stability of the entire Mediterranean region," the statement added.

During a special sitting of the Turkish parliament on Thursday, MPs voted 325-184 in favour of sending troops to Libya, raising fears that the threat of Turkish intervention as well as that by other regional competitors could intensify the escalating violence.

Turkey has accused Russia of sending private mercenaries to back eastern warlord Khalifa Haftar, whose forces have been battling the UN-backed Government of National Accord since April for control of Tripoli.

Libya has been in turmoil since the Nato-backed ouster of late dictator Muammar Gaddfi in 2011 and since 2014 has had rival governments in Tripoli and the east, backed by a myriad of armed groups vying for control of the oil-rich former Italian colony.

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