High-level Turkish delegation pays visit to Libya
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın and National Intelligence Organization (MİT) chair Hakan Fidan visited Libya on June 17 for official meetings.
The delegation met with the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.
The visit came amid efforts to reach a ceasefire and eventually launch a political process in the war-torn country after GNA made advances against rival General Khalifa Haftar’s forces.
Turkey supports Sarraj’s GNA, whose forces have in recent weeks repelled a 14-month assault on Tripoli by Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA).
A planned visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to Turkey slated for June 14 was postponed.
In an interview on June 15, Çavuşoğlu said the Russian visit was postponed not because of a “crisis” on ceasefire efforts in Libya, but for a requirement to further engage with partners in Libya in a bid to reach a lasting truce.
Çavuşoğlu last week undermined the recent “Cairo initiative” of Haftar and said when the general was losing, he attempted to call for a ceasefire in Libya. He noted the initiative, supported by Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, was “stillborn.”
Russia, along with the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, backs the LNA. The United Nations said on June 10 that Libya’s warring sides had begun to engage in a new round of ceasefire talks.
Meanwhile, a visit to Turkey by Italy’s top diplomat set for June 17 has been postponed to June 19, according to the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio’s visit to Turkey, “previously scheduled for today [June 17] is postponed to Friday June 19,” the ministry said.