By Hadi Fornaji.
Tripoli, 26 November 2014:
Turkey has followed the United Nations lead . . .[restrict]and blacklisted Ansar Al-Sharia as a terrorist organisation linked to Al-Qaeda.
The move means that Turkey will enforce an arms embargo, asset freeze and a global travel ban against Ansar and named terrorists. There have been persistent reports that injured members of Ansar, including the apparently fatally-injured Ansar leader Mohammed Al-Zahawi, have been treated in Turkey.
Turkey has been seen as close to the Omar Al-Hassi antigovernment in Tripoli. To the annoyance of the UN it broke ranks with the international community at the end of last month when its special envoy, Emrullah Isler held talks with Hassi. Isler, a senior member of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AK) had earlier met prime minister Abdullah Al-Thinni in Malta and went on to see him again in Beida at the start of this month.
It is unclear how Hassi’s declaration last week that Ansar was a “missionary” organisation and “beautiful” will affect Ankara’s relations with the antigovernment.
It is unclear if UN Security Council Resolution 1267 aimed at Al-Qaeda and its affiliate organisations imposes any sort of obligation on countries to arrest any members of Ansar who appear on their territory.
A Turkish diplomat who spoke to the Libya Herald this evening said that he believed that there would need to be an outstanding arrest warrant before an Ansar member could be detained, even one who was specifically named on the UN sanctions list.