May 8, 2020 / 12:55 AM / 24 days ago

Tunisia allows Turkish medical aid plane to land for Libyans

TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia allowed a Turkish plane to land at its southern airport of Zarzis to deliver medical aid to Libyans at the Ras Jedir border crossing, the presidency said on Friday.

Tunisia does not allow foreign forces to use its territory to interfere in the Libyan conflict. Libya’s internationally recognised government (GNA) is supported militarily by Turkey.

The presidency statement did not give any further details about the aid mission.

A Tunisian official told Reuters that the Turkish plane did not fly direct to Libya because its airport was not safe. Tunisia requested that its customs and security forces deliver the aid directly to the Libyans.

Libya’s GNA said last week its forces would keep fighting after a unilateral ceasefire declaration by its eastern-based opponents in its civil war.

Libya is a messy battlefield with heavy involvement by foreign fighters. The United States and the United Nations have warned against the deepening footprint of Russian private contractor forces while Turkey and the United Arab Emirates have also deployed drones, according to diplomats.

Reporting By Tarek Amara; Editing by Michael Perry

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