Libyan politicians warned that their country may be threatened by a “demographic change” plan devised by Qatar and Turkey.
They also expressed concern that Libyan students, who would be enticed to enroll at universities in either countries, would be taught wrong ideas about the situation in their North African nation.
These fears were heightened after the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), Qatar and Turkey inked military and education agreements earlier this month.
MP Fatima Karis told Asharq Al-Awsat: “Turkey is once again trying to introduce demographic change in our country. It started its efforts several months ago by bringing in thousands of Syrian and non-Syrian mercenaries to Libya.”
“Here it is again trying to deplete our nation’s youth under the pretext of sending them for training in Ankara and Doha, as if there was no other neutral country where Libyan students can receive such training,” she noted.
She warned of the danger of the GNA’s deal with Qatar and Turkey, saying it can cement extremist ideology in the youths.
Secretary of the Defense Ministry, Salah al-Namroush, who was recently promoted to defense minister, said the military agreements with Doha and Qatar allow Libyans to receive training at the academies in both countries.
The statement alarmed Karis, who urged parents against “falling for such a plot that aims to fragment our nation.”
“Everyone knows the result of the meddling of these two countries in the affairs of other Arab nations,” she remarked.
Egyptian MP Samir Ghattas questioned the purpose of sending Libyans to Qatari universities and academies, saying none of them enjoy any special global standing. Turkey, in contrast, he noted, boasts the second largest military in NATO.
Moreover, he revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the GNA recently received American orders to dismantle its allied militias and merge them with the military. “Of course, the GNA tasked Turkey, with Qatar’s financing, with this mission,” he added.
“There is no doubt that these two countries are using this task to implement their own agenda. They will work on recruiting carefully selected Libyan youth to join their intelligence agencies, which will pose a danger to Libya’s future,” he warned.
He spoke of the “major role” played by Qatari intelligence in Libya in recent years, specifically since the eruption of the revolt that ousted longtime ruler Moammar al-Gaddafi.
Ghattas suspected that Qatar will use the military program as a cover for its intelligence activity in Libya, including its funding of Turkish interests, such as the establishment of military bases in Misrata.