Arab League warns against foreign fighters in Libya


The Arab League urged warring sides in Libya not to enable deployment of foreign fighters in the North African country and worsen its conflict.

The Arab League’s council, its top body, met in Cairo after Egypt called for an emergency meeting on Libya, where eastern-based forces led by military commander Khalifa Haftar are trying to seize Tripoli.

Turkey will seek parliamentary support for sending troops to Libya and senior Turkish sources said Ankara is considering sending allied Syrian fighters as part of the deployment.

Egypt is one of Haftar’s foremost foreign backers. Turkey supports the internationally recognised government in Tripoli.

A statement issued by the Arab League’s council warned of “the gravity of taking any unilateral steps in a manner that allows foreign military interventions and contributes to the escalation and prolongation of the conflict”.

“Regional interventions that help among others in facilitating transfer of foreign extremist fighters from other regional conflict zones to Libya” should be prevented, it said.

Egypt has been flexing its diplomatic muscles since Turkey signed accords with the Tripoli government last month, one on security and military co-operation and the other on eastern Mediterranean boundaries.

Both sides in Libya receive foreign air support, mainly drones, and Russian military contractors have deployed to help Haftar forces in recent months, diplomats and analysts say.