Turkey’s main opposition party said on Monday it opposes a bill to allow a troop deployment to Libya, arguing such a move would exacerbate the country’s conflict and cause it to spread across the region.
Last week, President Tayyip Erdogan said his government would seek parliamentary consent to deploy troops to Libya after the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez al-Serraj requested support.
The GNA is fending off an offensive the Libyan National Army led by Khalifa Haftar in the east of the North African country.
Speaking after talks with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on the bill, Unal Cevikoz, deputy chairman for the Republican People’s Party (CHP), said his party opposed such a move.
“We believe diplomacy should be prioritized, rather than being a party to a proxy war. What is being done is making preparations to worsen the current situation, and we conveyed to the minister that this is not right,” Cevikoz said.
“Sending troops there in this case will expand the effects of the conflicts in the region and cause them to spread... We view the bill negatively,” he added.
The CHP has previously supported parliamentary bills to send troops into northern Syria, where Turkey has carried out three cross-border operations in three years. However, it has said it did not approve of Turkish military actions beyond its frontier.
Cavusoglu subsequently met the opposition Iyi Party leader to discuss the troop deployment bill. Erdogan has said the bill will be presented to parliament in early January.