Possible resignation of Libya’s PM raises questions over Ankara-Tripoli ties

Libyan Prime Minister Fayez-al Sarraj is reportedly planning to resign from his post and take on a caretaker role in the Tripoli government

A recent spat of protests in western Libya and infighting within Tripoli’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) has put pressure on Libyan Prime Minister Fayez-al Sarraj, who is expected to announce his resignation this week and assume a caretaker role over government functions, according to a Bloomberg report Tuesday.

The news comes after a Turkish military intervention helped break a 14-month siege on Tripoli by eastern Libyan forces loyal to commander Khalifa Hifter in June, and now raises questions over the prior and future accords between Ankara and Tripoli.

In November 2019, Sarraj signed a controversial agreement with Ankara delineating a shared maritime boundary in the eastern Mediterranean Sea in an area claimed by Greece. Ankara has since used the agreement as a basis to conduct gas exploration activities in contested waters, raising tensions between Turkey and several European nations in recent months.

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If reports of Sarraj’s pending resignation prove true, the maritime accord along with other points of Ankara-Tripoli cooperation may be complicated by turmoil in the Libyan political sphere.

“Turkey has only one piece of paper regarding that maritime accord and it happens to [bear] Sarraj’s name,” Jalel Harchaoui, a research fellow at the Clingendael Institute who focuses on Libya, told Al-Monitor.

Read more: al-monitor