Italian FM to pay visit to Turkey

Italian FM to pay visit to Turkey

Italian FM to pay visit to Turkey

Italy’s Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio will travel to Turkey late on Jan. 7 to discuss bilateral relations and developments in Libya.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and his Italian counterpart are set to hold talks late on Jan. 7 in Istanbul.

According to a statement by the Foreign Ministry, the two will hold talks on bilateral relations and regional and international developments, especially issues concerning Libya.

On Nov. 27, Ankara and Libya's UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) signed two separate pacts: one on military cooperation and the other on maritime boundaries of countries in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Since 2015, war-torn Libya has been divided between two governments, one in the east and the other in the west, the Government of National Accord (GNA) of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, based in Tripoli and supported by the United Nations, as well as Italy, Turkey and Qatar.

In April, Haftar’s east-based army, which is backed by France, Russia and key Arab countries, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, launched its push on the capital.

After nearly eight months of fighting, Haftar’s forces have not taken Tripoli but have been held off on the city’s southern edges, instead laying siege on the Libyan capital. The stalemated fighting has so far left more than 1,000 people dead, mostly combatants. Tens of thousands of civilians have been displaced.

Last month, Haftar declared a “final” and decisive battle to take Tripoli, and his LNA announced earlier on Jan. 7 it had taken Gaddafi's birthplace, Sirte, though Salame said it had only taken “some areas.”