200108 Libya
The motorcade transporting Libya's military strongman Khalifa Haftar waits outside Palazzo Chigi in downtown Rome on January 8, 2020 during a meeting with Italy's prime minister, as part of Europe's accelerating diplomatic efforts to seek ways to ease crisis. Image Credit: AFP

Cairo: Egypt, France, Cyprus and Greece Wednesday night expressed backing for a comprehensive peaceful solution to Libya’s years-long conflict amid growing fears of Turkey’s military intervention in the North African country.

“It is necessary to return to the political course in Libya and help Libyans reach agreement and stop violence,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said in Cairo following a coordination meeting on Libya with his French, Cypriot and Greek counterparts.

In November, Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdogan and head of the Libyan government based in Tripoli, Fayez Al Serraj, signed controversial maritime and security cooperation pacts.

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Last week, Turkish parliament authorized the dispatch of Turkish troops in support of the Tripoli government, sparking fears about a further escalation in Libya’s conflict now in its ninth year.

Shukri Wednesday condemned the deal, calling it an “attempt to undermine international efforts” to resolve the Libyan crisis.

“The Serraj-Turkish accord infringes the [UN] Security Council resolutions and aims at tipping the balance in favour of terrorism in Libya,” he added at a press conference after the talks.

“Turkish support continues for militant groups,” he said, urging world efforts to reach consensus in Libya.

Egypt fully supports a planned conference on Libya’s peace in Berlin, Shoukry said.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias accused Turkey of breaching international law with its moves in Libya.

He described the Tripoli-Turkish deal as posing a threat to peace and security.

Addressing the same press conference, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le-Drian voiced concern over Turkey’s accord with the Tripoli government.

The Cairo talks emphasised the importance of Libya’s territorial integrity as well as stability, and supported an inter-Libyan dialogue under the auspices of the UN and the African Union, he said.

Oil-rich Libya has descended into chaos since the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi in a Nato-supported armed revolt in 2011.