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Turkey boosts ties with Chad, eyeing political role in Libya

Turkey has been aggressively l searching for an economic and military role in Africa after the establishment of a base in Somalia in late 2017.

Turkey is again reappearing in Chad, south Libya, through military coordination after the visit of Chadian President Idriss Deby to Ankara in February, where he officially announced an agreement to strengthen this coordination between the two countries.

The visit included the signing of a protocol for the two countries to cooperate in the fight against terrorism, which include the deployment of 200 soldiers from the Chadian Presidential Guard in Turkey over four stages to attend special training that lasts for 90 days.

The coordination also ensures that Turkey provides Chad with technical support to monitor airports and communications, as well as the inauguration of a military office in Chad in early May for coordination and field surveillance.

The cooperation includes directing Turkey’s state-owned TOKI Construction Company to build barracks and houses for personnel from the Chadian Republican Guard starting in early 2020.

The agreements come a year after Erdoğan’s visit to the Sudanese island of Suakin, where both sides agreed to renovate the island, a move that was seen by experts as a Turkish step to look for a role in the Red Sea.

As Turkey’s influence is increasing in the countries surrounding Libya, there is growing concern over the role played by Turkey in the past years in the Libyan conflict. And this raises the question of the impact of this presence on Libya.

A number of weapon shipments have been seized at different Libyan ports in recent months.

While the east-based Libyan National Army strongly condemned Turkey for “allowing” the smuggling of such large amounts of weapons and called for an international investigation, Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu visited Tripoli, promising a Turkish investigation into the shipments.

He also discussed enhanced economic cooperation with head of the Presidency Council Faiez Sarraj.

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