Turkey Faces Pressure as Libyan Conflict Widens

The Egyptian parliament’s decision Monday to authorize the possible deployment of Egyptian troops in Libya is highlighting concerns in the region about a possible escalation of the Libyan conflict.  International pressure is, meanwhile, growing on Turkey over its involvement as Ankara doubled down on its support of Libya’s Government of National Accord, fueling fears of a wider a regional war.After a phone conversation Monday, President Donald Trump and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al Sissi added their voices to growing international calls for a Libyan ceasefire.FILE – Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar walks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi at the Presidential Palace in Cairo, Apr. 14, 2019 in this handout picture courtesy of the Egyptian Presidency.The Turkish intervention turned the tide in the conflict, with Haftar forces suffering heavy losses. Alarmed by this reversal, Cairo is looking to intervene.Widening conflictOn Monday, the Egyptian parliament voted to allow President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to order Egyptian military intervention in Libya.Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Friday pledged “never to abandon the Libyan people,” claiming a new agreement deepening cooperation with Tripoli will be signed soon.Ankara has so far not responded to Trump’s call for a ceasefire. But geo analyst Yoruk Isik says Trump’s intervention is unlikely to end the fighting immediately.”Ankara will say this is wonderful. I want a ceasefire. But the Trump statement is not necessarily saying I want a ceasefire tomorrow,” said Isik.”If Trump were to call Erdogan and demand an immediate ceasefire, it would, of course, be different. But I don’t think that call will happen because Turkey stopping right at this moment, means the Russians will retain the upper hand in Libya, and Washington doesn’t want a ceasefire with the Russians fully settling in Libya.”Libya Remains Calm as Egypt’s Parliament Authorizes Military InterventionEgypt’s leader Sissi and US President Trump concur on need for cease-fire in Libya in a Monday night phone call Egypt, United Arab Emirates, and Russia are all suspected of supplying arms to Haftar’s forces.Despite growing international pressure, Ankara believes it has a winning hand in Libya, calculating that no country is ready to confront the situation directly. Analyst Uzgel warns of the dangers of overconfidence.”There is a kind of hubris self-indulgence. Sometimes this may lead them (Turkish leaders) to make serious mistakes as they’ve done in the past.”

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