Qatar’s Minister of State for Defense Affairs Khalid bin Mohammed al-Atiyya met on Monday Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and Libya’s Minister of Interior Fathi Bashagha in Ankara to discuss the latest developments of the Libyan situation, Qatar’s Ministry of Defense said.
Turkey’s Ministry of Defense said in a statement that Askar expressed his gratitude for Qatar’s support to Ankara and praised the strategic relations between the two countries.
Ankara and Doha have grown increasingly close in recent years since Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar in 2017, accusing it of supporting terrorism – a charge Doha denies.
Qatar also helped Turkey shore up its foreign reserves with a $15 billion deal announced in May to help Turkey’s struggling economy.
Turkey in Libya
Libya has plunged into chaos since the 2011 toppling of dictator Moammar Gaddafi.
Clashes between the two main warring parties in the North African country, the Libyan National Army (LNA), commanded by Khalifa Haftar and the Government of National Accord (GNA), led by Fayez al-Serraj, have intensified recently.
Turkey, which backs the GNA, has been ramping up its military intervention in the North African country.
In November, Turkey signed a military cooperation pact with the GNA. The two parties also signed a maritime demarcation deal, which gives Ankara exploration rights in the eastern Mediterranean.
The maritime deal was rejected as “illegal” by many Mediterranean countries such Greece and Cyprus.
In early in June, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his country’s support for the GNA “will increasingly continue.”
Turkey’s intervention in Libya would give it a foothold in the natural-resources-rich Middle East, where its international ties to many countries are strained.
This is especially significant for Egypt, since it shares a long border with Libya, backs Haftar’s LNA and its relationship with Turkey has been tense for years.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi had said on June 20 that his country has a legitimate right to intervene in Libya and ordered the army to be prepared to carry out missions if necessary.
On Monday, Egypt’s Parliament authorized the deployment of troops outside the country.