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Turkey's energy deal in Libya fans regional rivalries

Turkey is likely to face stronger headwinds in the eastern Mediterranean after signing a controversial energy exploration deal with Libya’s interim government.
Libyan Foreign Minister Najla al-Mangoush (R) and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
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Turkey’s signing of a hydrocarbon exploration deal with the Tripoli government has crippled its recent efforts to balance its policy in Libya and fanned the internal and external rivalries haunting the conflict-torn country.

Aquila Saleh, speaker of Libya’s eastern-based parliament, and Fathi Bashagha, head of an alternative government backed by the parliament, rejected the Oct. 3 deal as null and void, as did dozens of members of parliament and the High Council of State. In a letter to the United Nations, Saleh said the deal was not binding to the Libyan state because the mandate of the Tripoli-based interim government, headed by Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, had expired. He warned the deal would destabilize the eastern Mediterranean, while Bashagha assailed it as a threat to peace and stability in Libya. 

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