Speaking during a graduation ceremony attended by Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, the head of the Turkish military mission in Libya Osman Aytaç said that Ankara is keen on establishing peace and stability in Libya.
He also added that his mission seeks to raise the Libyan Army to international standards.
The Libyan Army commander also commended the role of Turkey in training the Libyan Army personnel.
“We extol the good level of training after implementing the training plan drafted jointly with the Turkish support mission in Libya,” said Nouri al-Shenouk, director of training in the Libyan Army.
“The Turkish delegation played the biggest role in the training process,” al-Shenouk added.
On Nov. 27, 2019, Ankara and Tripoli signed two separate memoranda of understanding (MoU); one on military cooperation and the other on maritime boundaries of countries in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The North African country has been mired in civil war since the overthrow of dictator Moammar Gadhafi in a 2011 uprising. The bloodshed has drawn in competing Libyan factions and extremist groups as well as foreign powers.
According to the deal with the legitimate government in Libya, Turkey sent troops to shore up the United Nations-recognized government in Tripoli while Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Russia and other countries including France, supported the eastern-based illegitimate forces led by putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar.
In April 2019, putschist Gen. Haftar and his forces, backed by Egypt, Russia, France and the UAE, launched an offensive to attempt to capture the capital, Tripoli. His 14-month-long campaign collapsed, and the fall of Tripoli was prevented after Turkey stepped up its military support of the U.N.-backed government.
Turkish military personnel, who are in Libya on the official invitation of the internationally-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), have been providing support to hundreds of Libyan military cadets in various capacities.
The inadequacy of state institutions, especially the lack of a modern and professional army, that emerged after the collapse of Moammar Gadhafi’s regime during the Arab Spring, are considered the main reasons behind many of Libya’s recent troubles.
The deal involves technical information, support, development, maintenance, repair, planning and material support, training and consultancy services regarding the use of weapons systems and equipment.
It covers joint military exercises, the security and defense industry, counterterrorism, illegal migration, the security of land, sea and air borders, narco-terrorism, anti-smuggling, operations on improvised explosives and natural disasters, conducting joint operations as well as the organizational structure of the defense and security forces.
Security sources in Ankara have several times pointed out that Turkish forces cannot be classified as foreign fighters, unlike Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, as Turkish soldiers are in the country upon an official invitation by the internationally-recognized Libyan government.