Turkish ministers visit Libya, Tripoli government says

Reuters , Wednesday 17 Jun 2020

Mohamed Taha Siala (L), Foreign Minister of Libya's UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) receives Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (R) at the GNA's presidential headquarters in the capital Tripoli on June 17, 2020 (Photo: AFP)

Senior Turkish officials visited Tripoli on Wednesday to meet Libya's UN-recognised government after helping it stave off an offensive by eastern-based Libyan National Army forces.

Turkish support has been critical to the Government of National Accord (GNA) in turning back a 14-month campaign by the Libyan National Army (LNA), backed by Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, to capture Tripoli.

The visit, not previously announced, included Turkey's foreign and finance ministers, the intelligence chief and the national security adviser, the GNA said in a statement. They met the GNA's prime minister, interior minister and oil company head.

Libya has been in chaos since the 2011 revolution that toppled Muammar Gaddafi and has been split since 2014 between rival administrations in Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi.

Ankara's intervention led to a sudden shift in front lines this month as pro-GNA forces pushed back the LNA and its allies from most of northwest Libya towards the central coastal city of Sirte.

The GNA and LNA have returned to ceasefire talks, but the United Nations, which is brokering their discussions, has warned of a possible major escalation due to the flow of weapons and fighters into Libya despite an arms embargo.

* This story was edited by Ahram Online

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