Libya’s Sarraj pays $12 billion to Turkey for military protection

Multi-billion-dollar payment made by Prime Minister of Government of National Accord to Turkey helps Erdogan save his country's battered finances that have been shaken further by coronavirus pandemic.

LONDON – Libya’s Government of National Accord gave 12 billion US dollars to Turkey as payment for Ankara’s military involvement in the North African country, revealed Libya Review on Sunday.

The news reinforces the fact that the GNA led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj is totally dependent on Turkey for its battle against military commander Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army.

Turkey has brought thousands of mercenaries from Syria to the battlefield in Libya, deployed troops and sent sophisticated drones against LNA forces despite international calls against foreign interference in the war-torn country.

Sarraj received on Wednesday a high-level Turkish delegation led by Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Tripoli to discuss ways to enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

Sarraj’s government has deposited 4 billion dollars in the Central Bank of Turkey and another 8 billion dollars was deposited to pay for Turkey’s recent military intervention in Libya, according to Libya Review sources.

The multi-billion-dollar payment exposed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s true intentions in Libya as Ankara is seeking to save its battered finances that have been shaken further by the coronavirus pandemic.

TRT quoted Turkish Erdogan as saying that “our foreign exchange reserves are now above $93 million.”

Turkey has $169 billion in foreign debt due in the next 12 months and gross foreign currency reserves, including gold, of only $84 billion, reported the Financial Times on May 27.

The Turkish and GNA officials discussed how Turkey could help in energy exploration and operations, including cooperation "on every imaginable project" to help resources reach global markets, a senior Turkish official said.

They also discussed payments owed to Turkish companies for past energy and construction work in Libya.

NATO said Thursday it has launched an official investigation into a naval incident in the Mediterranean between alliance members France and Turkey that has infuriated Paris.

France has complained vehemently about the incident in which it says one of its ships was subjected to radar targeting by Turkish frigates as it sought to inspect a cargo vessel suspected of carrying arms to Libya.