Putin, Macron discuss Libya, Syria

Putin, Macron discuss Libya, Syria

MOSCOW-Anadolu Agency
Putin, Macron discuss Libya, Syria

The presidents of Russia and France discussed the ongoing crisis in Libya plus Syria and Ukraine over the phone, Russia's state-run TASS news agency said on Dec. 17.

Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron stressed the importance of resolving the Libyan crisis through diplomacy, the agency reported.

“In this regard, Russia and France confirmed their support for mediating efforts by the UN and Germany on a peaceful settlement," said the agency, citing the Kremlin.

Putin also informed Macron on the implementation of the Russian-Turkish agreements on the situation in northeastern Syria and Idlib.

On April 4, Khalifa Haftar -- the leader of eastern Libyan forces -- launched an offensive to capture the capital Tripoli from forces of the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).

According to UN data, over a thousand people have been killed since the start of the operation and more than 5,000 injured.

Since the ouster and death of ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: one in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates and another in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.

Italy to contact Turkey, Russia, US over Libya tensions

Meanwhile, Italy’s foreign minister said on Dec. 17 his country is ready to hold talks with Turkey, Russia and the U.S. on finding a solution to the ongoing crisis in Libya.

“Italy is ready to work to find a diplomatic solution to the Libyan crisis,” Luigi Di Maio told reporters at Rome’s Ciampino Airport after his return from Libya.

Di Maio said he was set to phone his counterparts from the U.S., Russia and Turkey.

“I will also phone my German, French and British counterparts,” he added.

Di Maio visited Libya earlier in the day and held separate talks in Tripoli and Benghazi with Fayez al-Sarraj, head of the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), and commander Khalifa Haftar.