Turkey urged Libya to refrain from any steps that would lead to renewed conflict, and called on the authorities to follow the democratic path amid a crisis over control of the country's executive branch.

Libya's political crisis has escalated since the collapse of elections scheduled for December as part of a peace process aimed at reunifying the country after years of chaos and war in the wake of the 2011 NATO-backed revolution.

Turkey provided military support and training to the internationally recognized former Libyan Government of National Accord, and helped it repel a months-long attack on the capital, Tripoli, launched by eastern Libyan forces led by retired Major General Khalifa Haftar.

Ankara has backed the peace process but has been largely silent since the recent unrest in Libya after two rival governments were formed.

Following a meeting that lasted about four hours chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday, the Turkish National Security Council said that "the calm in Libya achieved through great sacrifices" is an opportunity to achieve peace, according to Reuters.

The Council called on the concerned parties in Libya to "refrain from steps that might lead to the outbreak of new clashes," and urged the authorities there to "follow democratic processes based on legitimacy to achieve lasting peace and stability."

The current Libyan Prime Minister Abdel Hamid Dabaiba (right) and the Prime Minister-designate by Parliament Fathi Bashagha (French - Reuters)

chaos and division

Since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011, Libya has witnessed chaos resulting from divisions and power struggles, the rise in the influence of armed groups and external interventions.

In March 2021, a transitional government headed by Abdel Hamid al-Dabaiba was formed after a dialogue between the Libyan parties sponsored by the United Nations in Geneva, and a mission was set for it to take over the transitional phase until the holding of presidential and legislative elections last December, but the elections were not completed due to security, judicial and political obstacles. .

At the beginning of this month, the eastern-based Libyan parliament granted confidence to a new government headed by Fathi Bashagha, but the Dabaiba government refuses to hand it over the institutions in Tripoli on the pretext that the new government must be formed after elections.

Thus, Libya finds itself again, as happened between 2014 and 2021 between two competing authorities, in a way that brings back the specter of fighting.

The Security Council held a meeting last week on Libya, in which the major powers and the United Nations adhered to great caution about the political crisis shaking the country, without taking sides with either party, with the exception of Russia, which openly declared its support for Bashagha.