The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Defense in the Libyan Government of National Accord, Salah al Nimroush, announced on Tuesday that an agreement had been reached with Qatar and Turkey to send military advisers to Tripoli to help enhance the military capabilities of the Tripoli Government.
This is the first time that the United Nations-recognized Tripoli Government concluded an agreement with Qatar on the military level, and it previously signed bilateral security and maritime agreements with Turkey within the framework of military cooperation.
Ankara is providing Tripoli with weapons, military equipment and drones, and sending loyal Syrian fighters to fight alongside the reconciliation government forces.
“We agreed with the Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and the Qatari Minister Khalid bin Muhammad al Attiyah on the tripartite cooperation in building the military institution in the fields of training and consultations,” al Namrouche said.
The Qatari Minister of Defense visited Tripoli on Monday during the Turkish Defense Minister’s visit to the city, to discuss the “tripartite” military cooperation between Doha, Ankara and Tripoli.
al Namroush said after talks with the Turkish and Qatari delegations that the agreement also includes “sending military advisers to Libya and providing seats for training in the colleges of the two brotherly countries”.
He did not give further details about the terms of the agreement or its timetable.
During a meeting held by the Prime Minister of Tripoli Government, Faiz al Sarraj, with the Turkish and Qatari ministers on Monday, “the talks dealt with developments in Libya and the military build-up in eastern Sirte and the Jafrah region,” to the south of it, according to a statement issued by Tripoli government media office.
Libya has been witnessing power struggles and various conflicts since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011. Two authorities are currently competing in the country: the United Nations-recognized Government of National Accord based in Tripoli, and Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, a strongman in eastern Libya, backed by a parallel government in the east.
The Government of National Accord, with the support of its Turkish ally, was able to repel Haftar’s attack on Tripoli in April 2019, and in June it regained control of the entire northwest of the country.
After 14 months of fierce fighting, forces loyal to Field Marshal Haftar withdrew towards Sirte, the coastal city 450 km east of Tripoli. Haftar is receiving support from the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Russia.