Erdogan, Trump agree 'close cooperation' on Libya

AFP , Tuesday 9 Jun 2020

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pose for a family photo at the NATO leaders summit in Watford, Britain December 4, 2019. REUTERS

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US counterpart Donald Trump agreed to "continue their close cooperation" on Libya in telephone talks on Monday, the Turkish presidency said.

Ankara supports Libya's UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) and has stepped up military support to Tripoli against the Libyan National Army (LNA) lead by marshal Khalifa Haftar.

The United States officially backs the GNA, but LNA is supported by Russia and Washington's allies Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

"The two leaders agreed to continue their close cooperation to promote peace and stability in Libya, Turkey's maritime neighbour," the presidency said.

Turkey has helped the GNA, with drones and air defence systems, to control of most of northwest Libya in recent weeks on LNA forces who have been fighting to take Tripoli since April last year.

Libya's Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj was in Ankara last week, where he said his forces were "determined" to take over the entire country from his rival Haftar.

Last month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticised the flow of weapons into Libya and urged a ceasefire during a call with Sarraj.

* This story was edited by Ahram Online

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