Libya’s eastern parliament condemns deal with Turkey

A handout picture taken and released on November 27, 2019, by the Turkish Presidential Press service shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (3R) and Fayez al-Sarraj (3L), the head of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) and their delegations posing during their meeting in Istanbul. (AFP)
Updated 28 November 2019

Libya’s eastern parliament condemns deal with Turkey

  • This parliament is allied with the self-styled Libyan National Army
  • Erdogan’s office said Thursday that the Turkish leader and Sarraj, reached an agreement on the delineation of maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean Sea

CAIRO: Libya’s eastern parliament denounced Thursday a maritime and security cooperation deal between the Tripoli-based UN-backed government and Turkey as a “flagrant breach” of the country’s security and sovereignty.
This parliament is allied with the self-styled Libyan National Army, which launched an offensive under the command of Gen. Khalifa Haftar in April to capture the capital from the Government of National Accord led by Fayez Sarraj.
Since 2015, Libya has been divided between two competing governments, in the east based in Benghazi and in the west in Tripoli. While the LNA and the eastern government enjoy the support of France, Russia and key Arab countries, the Tripoli-based government is backed by Italy, Turkey and Qatar.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office said Thursday that the Turkish leader and Sarraj, reached an agreement on the delineation of maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean Sea while in Istanbul the previous day. The two leaders also signed a security and military cooperation agreement. Erdogan’s office did not provide additional details.
The eastern parliament’s Foreign and International Cooperation Committee issued a statement Thursday saying the deal amounts to a “defense pact” and grants the Turkish government the right to use Libyan airspace and waters as well as build military bases on Libyan soil.
The agreement “does not only threaten the Libyan national security but also threatens the Arab national security and peace in the Mediterranean Sea,” read the statement.
Separately, the Libyan national oil company said Thursday that it resumed operations at the El-Fil oil field, following an earlier suspension due to fighting between armed factions.
The company’s chairman, Mustafa Sanalla, declared Wednesday that operations were halted after clashes had erupted and militants allied with the UN-supported government had attacked guards protecting the field.
The facility, which pumps out 75,000 barrels a day was slightly damaged by the clashes and none of the workers were wounded, read a statement posted on the company’s official Facebook page.
“I remind all parties that oil and gas fields are the main source of revenues in Libya and safeguarding them will benefit all Libyans. Hence, they should not be dealt with as military targets,” said Sanalla.


Sharjah reopens public beaches as country reports 3 days free of COVID-19 deaths

Updated 9 min 34 sec ago

Sharjah reopens public beaches as country reports 3 days free of COVID-19 deaths

  • The emirate’s National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Team urged people to follow all precautionary measures and maintain social distancing
  • The move comes as the UAE announced that it had tested more than 5 million people for the coronavirus

DUBAI: UAE’s Sharjah has reopened its public beaches as the country gradually eases its coronavirus restrictions, state news agency WAM reported.
The emirate’s National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Team urged people to follow all precautionary measures and maintain social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus.
The move comes as the UAE announced that it had tested more than 5 million people for the coronavirus, since the start of the pandemic.
There were 164 new cases recorded overnight, bringing the he total number of infections to 61,163, but government spokesman Omar Al-Hammadi said the recovery rate had increased to 90 percent.
The number of people to have recovered now stands at 54,863 after a further 248 patients  tested coronavirus free overnight – with no COVID-19 deaths recorded in the past three days.