Turkish, Libyan officials discuss Tripoli-Tobruk truce

Turkish, Libyan officials discuss Tripoli-Tobruk truce

Turkish, Libyan officials discuss Tripoli-Tobruk truce

Senior Turkish and Libyan officials held talks in Istanbul and Ankara to discuss a recently announced ceasefire between the two rival sides as well as Turkey’s continued support to the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop met the head of Libya’s High State Council, Khalid al-Mishri, in Istanbul on Aug. 27. Şentop and al-Mishri also held separate talks about the ongoing ties between Ankara and Tripoli.

Defense Minister Hulusi Akar hosted Libyan Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha and welcomed him with military honors at the Defense Ministry, a written statement by the ministry said on Aug. 28. The ministers held a one-on-one meeting to exchange views, it added.

The meetings followed a ceasefire jointly announced by the GNA in Tripoli and the House of Representatives in Tobruk with the condition of creating a demilitarized zone in Sirte and resumption of the oil production.

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu also met with al-Mishri on Aug. 28.

In a statement, Çavuşoğlu said the two discussed Turkish cooperation with "brotherly" Libya, which he said grows stronger every day.

Saying both countries are determined to speed up joint economic and commercial projects, he added that Turkey will continue to support the political process in Libya.

Meanwhile, Akar on Aug. 28 spoke with his British counterpart Ben Wallace over the phone. The ministers discussed recent developments in the eastern Mediterranean and Libya.

Turkey and Libya signed two agreements in November 2019, one about a maritime demarcation deal and the other defense cooperation.

On reports that Turkey is seeking to obtain permanent military bases in Libya, Akar said, “These are training centers. Our Armed Forces’ members are training our Libyan brothers there. That’s all. Exaggerating this is not right,” in an interview with the Anadolu Agency on Aug. 27.

Turkey rules out a military solution to the Libyan question and defends the unity of the country, reiterated the minister, stressing that the recent ceasefire should endorse the unification of the country and not its partition.