Turkey Seeks to Broker Cease-Fire in Libya

Talking to Both Sides as 'Mediator' of Conflict

As a top figure in one of the NATO nations most loudly opposed to the military attack, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his government is now looking to broker a cease-fire soon in Libya.

NATO is poised to take full control over the military operations inside Libya as soon as Wednesday. Though Erdogan insists Turkey will be trying to do this cease-fire in the context of the NATO operation, it is unclear how welcome it will be.

This is particularly true because a number of US, French and British officials are looking at this war as open-ended, and seemingly an end unto itself. This puts Turkey, as with previous efforts to broker a deal in Iran, at odds with more hawkish members of the alliance.

The Turkish government is said to be talking with both the Gadhafi regime and the rebels at the moment, offering itself as a “mediator” to help with a transition. Exactly how well they are being received is unknown at this time.

If successful it may once again allow Turkey to improve its status amongst Arab nations, however, many of which were initially in favor of the no-fly zone in Libya but balked when the US and France quickly escalated it into a massive bombing campaign. If they can broker the deal, it will once again cement Turkey’s recent reputation for independence from the US in foreign affairs.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.