19:02 GMT12 August 2020
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    GENOA (Sputnik) - Turkey should stick to the commitments it made at the Berlin conference on Libya and avert the crisis in the North African country from becoming a proxy war, Marco Minniti, a member of the Italian parliament from the Democratic Party and former interior minister, stated.

    "I am concerned by the fact that Libya can become the land of military and diplomatic confrontation with countries that have nothing to do with Libya. We must avoid proxy wars, this is the most important thing, and I hope that the friends of Turkey are aware of this", Minniti, who used to serve as an adviser to several prime ministers and is considered to be among the most prominent politicians in Italy dealing with the Libyan issue, said.

    The politician at the same time expressed understanding for Turkey's move to strike a memorandum of understanding on security and defence cooperation with the GNA.

    © AP Photo / Michael Sohn
    Антониу Гутерреш, Ангела Меркель, Реджеп Эрдоган и президент Франции Эммануэль Макрон на церемонии фотографирования глав делегаций участников Международной конференции по Ливии в Берлине
    "I do not dispute the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed between Turkey and GNA. Of course, for Turkey it is particularly challenging to move from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Central Mediterranean", Minniti said.

    Yet, Minniti warned Turkey against going too far, saying that once it was dragged deeper into the Libyan conflict, it could ultimately "lose control" over the situation.

    "One can be convinced of being in control of the situation, but I can say from my personal experience, and I am familiar with the situation in details, that one should avoid becoming a sorcerer’s apprentice, because when you invocate phantoms it may happen that you ultimately lose control over them. I think it is necessary for Turkey, as one of the signatory parties of Berlin, to comply with the Berlin agreement", the lawmaker said.

    On 19 January, Berlin hosted an international conference on Libyan reconciliation, with Turkey among its participants. In a joint communique, the signatories pledged to refrain from assisting the rival parties and observe an arms embargo on Libya.

    However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his country, which has recently sent troops to Libya, would maintain its military presence there to support the Government of National Accord (GNA) in the fight against the rival Libyan National Army.

    As Libya remains split between the two rival administrations, the next Berlin conference is expected to take place in mid-March at the level of foreign ministers.

    At the moment, the Government of National Accord is challenged by the Tobruk-based Parliament, which is supported by Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar. He previously announced a mobilisation against foreign intervention, urging the international community to stop meddling.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    proxy wars, proxy war, Turkey, Libya
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