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Erdoğan warns Europe could face new terrorism threat if Libya’s Tripoli gov’t falls

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has warned Europe it could face new threats from terrorist organizations if Libya’s UN-recognized government in Tripoli were to fall, AFP reported.

In an article published on the politico.eu news website on the eve of a Libya peace conference in Berlin, Erdoğan said the EU’s failure to adequately support the Government of National Accord (GNA) would be “a betrayal of its own core values, including democracy and human rights.”

The GNA, led by Fayez al-Sarraj, has been under attack since April from strongman Khalifa Haftar’s forces based in the east of the country, with fighting killing over 280 civilians and 2,000 fighters.

“Europe will encounter a fresh set of problems and threats if Libya’s legitimate government were to fall,” Erdoğan wrote.

“Terrorist organizations such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda, which suffered a military defeat in Syria and Iraq, will find a fertile ground to get back on their feet.”

In a joint initiative Turkey and Russia have brokered a ceasefire, but Haftar walked away from talks in Moscow this week aimed at finalizing the truce agreement.

A furious Erdoğan has accused Haftar of fleeing Moscow and said he would “teach [him] a lesson” if he resumed fighting.

Erdoğan’s government backs Sarraj, and the Turkish parliament earlier this month approved the deployment of troops to Libya after the signing of controversial security and maritime deals between Tripoli and Ankara.

“To leave Libya at the mercy of a warlord would be a mistake of historic proportions,” he said, in a veiled reference to Haftar.

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