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Iran Press TV

Turkey's Erdogan, Libya's Sarraj reaffirm bilateral cooperation in Istanbul meeting

Iran Press TV

Monday, 05 October 2020 7:33 AM

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has met with Libya's outgoing Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, who heads the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in the North African country.

The two leaders accompanied by high-level officials from both sides, including foreign, defense, interior and finance ministers as well as top advisors, held talks at the Vahdettin Mansion in the Turkish main city of Istanbul on Sunday.

No details of the talks were disclosed other than the two sides were planning to further strengthen bilateral relations.

Back in September, another meeting was held in Istanbul between Erdogan and Sarraj, who is planning to step down this month and transfer power to a new executive authority.

Turkey and Libya have previously signed a military deal alongside a maritime demarcation agreement in the Mediterranean Sea.

Since the NATO-driven ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has been torn by civil war and is practically split between two governments, the GNA in the country's west with its headquarters in Tripoli, and its Tobruk-based rival in the east, which is linked to the Libyan National Army (LNA) headed by renegade general Khalifa Haftar.

With Turkey's help, Haftar's military offensive has failed and efforts have been underway to resolve the conflict peacefully, prompting Sarraj to call on Haftar's forces to lay down their arms and respect the Aug. 21 ceasefire that aims to stop violence and help resume oil production in the country.

Under UN auspices, the GNA was established in 2015 to restore peace in the conflict-ridden North African country.

However, previous efforts for a long-term political settlement have failed due to the offensives launched by Haftar's forces supported by the Tobruk-based government, backed in turn, by Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Russia.

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