President Erdoğan convenes security summit
Turkish ministers and military brass have held a security summit to review the recent developments in the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Libya where Turkish troops are deployed as well as the continued anti-terror fight inside and outside the borders.
The summit was chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with the participation of Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Güler and commanders of the land, air and naval forces, the head of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) Hakan Fidan, Communication Director Fahrettin Altun and Erdoğan’s chief advisor İbrahim Kalın late May 20 in Istanbul.
The participants abided by social distancing rules and wore masks, except Erdoğan. The summit comes as Turkey launched a gradual reopening as the spread of the coronavirus was taken under control.
Top issues the brass discussed were Syria, Libya, eastern Mediterranean, regional developments and the fight against terrorism. In Syria, a cease-fire between Turkey and the Syrian regime still holds in line with Ankara-Moscow deal in early March.
Speaking to reporters about the situation in Idlib on May 20, Akar informed about some provocative moves by radical groups to break the cease-fire but the truce is still holding in the enclave.
As a result of ongoing efforts to stabilize the region, around 300,000 Syrians have returned home safely, the minister informed.
In Libya, Turkey’s activities regarding security and military cooperation with the Government of National Accord (GNA) is ongoing, he said. “The balances in Libya have seriously changed since the Turkish Armed Forces’ elements have launched their training and advisory services. The GNA, which is devoted to provide the unity and integrity of the country, made important successes,” the minister added.
There are reports indicating that GNA forces could capture some strategic spots from the Libyan National Army (LNA) under the command of General Khalifa Haftar who had withdrawn his troops from Tripoli in the last week.