Turkey’s President Erdogan and Libyan PM Al Sarraj hold talks in Istanbul to discuss developments in Libya, bilateral ties, and regional issues.
(African Stand) — Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has pledged that his country would continue to support Libya’s UN-recognised government during talks in Istanbul.
Erdogan met with the head of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez al Sarraj, for talks on the most recent developments in Libya as well as bilateral relations and regional matters, said a statement by Erdogan’s office.
During the meeting, Erdogan “stated that Turkey will continue to stand in solidarity with Libya’s UN-recognised legitimate government, and reiterated that Turkey’s priority is to restore Libya’s stability, without further delay”, the presidency said.
Erdogan also said that “Libya’s peace and stability would benefit its neighbours and the entire region, starting with Europe”, adding that “the international community ought to assume a principled stance in that regard”.
At the Istanbul talks, which lasted two-and-a-half hours, Erdogan and Sarraj also exchanged views on ways to strengthen their cooperation, together with steps to “defend Turkey and Libya’s rights in the eastern Mediterranean.”
On November 27, 2019, Ankara and Tripoli signed two memorandums of understanding; one on military cooperation and the other on maritime boundaries of countries in the eastern Mediterranean.
Under the deal, Turkey has sent advisers to help the Libyan army defeat militias of warlord Khalifa Haftar, who is supported by Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Russia.
Libya’s GNA, founded in 2015 under an UN-led agreement in the wake of the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, has faced a number of challenges, including attacks by Haftar.
In recent months, however, it has turned the tide against Haftar’s forces.
Turkey supports the GNA government based in the capital Tripoli and a non-military resolution of the crisis.
Talks between Libya rivals
Sunday’s meeting coincided with talks in Morocco between delegates from Libya’s rival sides.
Last month, the two warring sides announced separately that they would cease all hostilities and hold nationwide elections, drawing praise from world powers after a series of fruitless initiatives in recent years to stop the conflict.