LONDON – Tunisian President Kais Saied insisted that a solution to the Libyan conflict “can only be achieved within the framework of international legitimacy” during a telephone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the occasion of Eid Al-Fitr.
“The solution in Libya can only be achieved within the framework of international legitimacy. But above all, it must be peaceful,” Saied told Erdogan.
The Tunisian leader said that Tunisia was one of the countries most affected by the current situation at all levels of the Libyan issue, according to a statement released Monday by the Tunisian Presidency on Facebook.
“The latter (the Libyan issue) is one of Tunisians’ first concerns, because Tunisia and Libya are one people,” he said, dealing a huge blow to parliament speaker Rached Ghannouchi’s congratulation of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj’s Government of National Accord on capturing Al-Watiya military airbase from the Libyan National Army in the battle for Tripoli.
Ghannouchi’s subjective stance on the Libyan conflict has sparked a fierce criticism from seven opposition parties for meddling in international conflicts and foreign affairs.
The opposition parties called on Tunisian President to intervene and respond to the accusations that Tunisia was providing logistical support to Turkey in its military intervention in Libya.
In a speech to mark Eid al-Fitr, Saied said that Tunisia “has only one president both nationally and internationally.”
Saied warned that “those who prepare the ground for anarchy and light the fire will be the first to burn”, in a clear message to parliament speaker for siding with Turkey on the Libyan conflict.
Erdogan publicly admitted the Turkish military intervention in Libya and the sending of thousands of mercenaries to fight military commande Khalifa Haftar’s LNA forces, drawing an international criticism, including its violation of the UN arms embargo on Libya.
Observers believe that Turkey is seeking to get rid of the most extremist leaders by removing them from Syria and sending them to fight in the battle for Tripoli alongside the GNA forces.
The International Crisis Group reported last month that Turkey had reportedly sent around 100 officers as well as aerial defence and other weapon systems since last January.