Turkish parliament extends troops deployment in Lebanon
Lawmakers also ratify motion to extend deployment of forces in Mali, CAR for another year
Turkey’s parliament ratified a motion Tuesday to extend the deployment of Turkish troops in Lebanon for another year as part of the UN’s interim force.
The government motion was passed with a show of hands by lawmakers from the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and Good (IYI) Party.
The term of Turkish soldiers in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, also known as UNIFIL, will be extended until Oct. 30, 2021.
The motion has been extended 13 times so far since it was first approved by parliament in September 2006.
UNIFIL was established in 1978 when Israel withdrew from Lebanon. The peacekeeping force is intended to provide security and help the Lebanese government in rebuilding its authority.
Around 10,600 troops from 40 countries are part of the UNIFIL mission.
Motion on Mali, CAR
Parliament also approved another motion Tuesday extending the deployment of Turkish troops to Mali and the Central African Republic (CAR) as part of a UN-approved EU peacekeeping mission.
The extensions will be effective as of Oct. 31 for another year.
The AK Party, the CHP, the MHP and the IYI Party backed the motion. The Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), however, voted against it.
In September 2014, the 12,000-troop UN peacekeeping force the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) began deployment in the troubled Central African country.
The UN Security Council adopted a resolution in 2012 that authorized the deployment of the African-led International Support Mission to Mali, known as AFISMA.
In early 2013, France sent troops to the West African country and with the help of Chadian and other African forces flushed out militants from the country's key northern cities.
On Wednesday, parliament is set to debate a motion to allow the Turkish military to carry out cross-border operations in northern Iraq and Syria for another year, from Oct. 30, 2020 until Oct. 30, 2021.
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