By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 1 March 2015:
Turkey and Qatar are continuing to supply terrorists operating in Libya with a steady flow . . .[restrict]of illegally imported weapons, Libyan acting Interior Minister, Colonel Ahmed Ali Baraka, has said in a TV interview.
According to Baraka, Turkish and Qatari aircraft are flying in and out of Libya Dawn-controlled Mitiga air base with the weapons which, he said, showed “clear and explicit support” for terrorism in Libya.
The accusations against Turkey and Qatar by the Libyan government have been ongoing since the attacks began on Tripoli by the Misrata Brigades this past summer.
Last June, General Khalifa Hafter issued an order for all Turks and Qataris to leave eastern Libya within 48 hours under the suspicion that they were supporting terrorist activity.
Last September, Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni accused Sudan and Qatar of backing Libya Dawn and warned that if they did not stop, diplomatic relations would be cut.
Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir has since patched things up with Thinni. The latter had also suggested that Qatar had changed its policy. However, this latest attack, indicates a continuing suspicion.
Just last month, Qatar and Turkey were forced to withdraw from the African Union’s International Contact Group for Libya (ICG-L) in Addis Ababa after the delegates from Libya, Egypt, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Guinea boycotted the session over the presence of the Qatar and Turkey, claiming that the two countries had nothing to contribute to the African Union (AU).
Qatar continues to be widely accused in Libya of interfering in Libyan politics and of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamists, an accusation it denies.
Turkey denies similar allegations. It points out that it has been at the forefront of trying to help rebuild stability and security in the country by helping train the Libyan police and army.
Nevertheless, Turkey is one of a handful of countries which has publicly received officials from the otherwise internationally-rejected Tripoli administration and parliament.
The growing hostility between the Beida government and Ankara has led to the cancellation of all business contracts in territory controlled by the Libyan government, which could seriously affect Turkey’s economy.
“We don’t say we are hostile to Turkey but we say we don’t deal with it,” Thinni said in an interview on Egyptian TV channel CBC. [/restrict]