Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu

Turkey’s Foreign Minister said Thursday that Ankara's military training support for Libya’s legitimate government cannot be compared with foreign fighters and mercenaries, whom he said should leave Libya.

Mevlut Cavusoglu told a joint news conference with his German counterpart Heiko Maas in Berlin that foreign mercenaries should not be confused with legitimate Turkish forces training Libya’s military under a pact with the legitimate government.

Cavusoglu added that there are many foreign fighters and mercenaries in Libya and Turkey agrees on their withdrawal, warning that calling on Ankara to end its support for Libya’s government would in fact undermine this legitimate government.

He reiterated that the agreement between the two sovereign countries addresses essential needs of Libya with regards to military training and consultancy, stressing that ending Turkish support would not be in favor of Libya.

"Calls from third parties to end the agreement between Libya and Turkey would not be the correct approach." Cavusoglu indicated, saying that Libya’s newly formed government should be supported to help prepare the country for elections later this year and meet public needs.

On November 27, 2019, Libya signed maritime and security and military MoUs with Turkey. The latter helps Libyan military with training and consultations. On the other hand, Khalifa Haftar's forces have enlisted the help of multinational soldiers of fortune from Russia's Wagner Group, to Sudan's Janjaweed, to help tilt the balance and seize legitimacy by force.