35 Turkish soldiers sent to Libya so far, but won’t see combat: Erdogan

The 35 soldiers were carrying out training and coordination tasks for Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli. (File/AFP)
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Updated 08 January 2020

35 Turkish soldiers sent to Libya so far, but won’t see combat: Erdogan

  • Erdogan said the soldiers are carrying training and coordination tasks for GNA
  • Libya has been mired in chaos since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising killed Qaddafi

ANKARA: Turkey has deployed 35 military personnel to Libya but they will not take part in any fighting, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, according to local media on Wednesday.
“The soldiers will not fight. Other soldiers who will be deployed later will also not enter any combat,” Erdogan told his ruling party, according to the Hurriyet daily.
He said the soldiers were carrying out training and coordination tasks for Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli.
The comments were made during a high-level, closed-door meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Monday, Hurriyet reported.
Turkey’s parliament last week approved a military deployment to support the Tripoli government against an assault by military strongman Khalifa Haftar.
Libya has been mired in chaos since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising killed longtime leader Muammar Qaddafi.


Israel ends ban on Palestinian farm exports, resolving trade spat

Updated 20 February 2020

Israel ends ban on Palestinian farm exports, resolving trade spat

  • The Palestinian Authority in September significantly reduced calf imports from Israel
  • Israel on February 2 cut Palestinian exports to the Jewish state

JERUSALEM: Israel has ended its ban on Palestinian agricultural exports after the Palestinian Authority lifted its curb on calf imports from Israeli livestock farmers, the defense ministry said Thursday, seemingly resolving a months-long trade dispute.
The Palestinian Authority had in September significantly reduced the number of calves imported from Israel, saying at the time it wanted to decrease dependence on Israeli producers.
After dialogue failed, Israel on February 2 cut Palestinian exports to the Jewish state.
The Palestinians retaliated by banning imports of Israeli produce, soft drinks and mineral water.

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Israel then extended its ban on Palestinian exports to the Allenby Bridge border crossing with Jordan, the only route through which Palestinian goods in the West Bank can reach foreign markets.
The trade war had threatened to escalate as tensions in the West Bank surged after US President Donald Trump unveiled a controversial peace plan.
But on Thursday, Israeli Defense Minister Bennett announced he had removed all of the restrictions imposed on Palestinian exports, “after the ban on the Israeli farmers was removed,” the ministry said in a statement.
The Palestinian agriculture ministry announced the immediate import of “livestock, including calves” as well as “all products and commercial goods from all countries of the world without obstacles.”
“This came after a series of direct and indirect discussions through international parties, which resulted in Israel retracting its illegal measures,” the ministry said in a statement late Wednesday.