Turkey and Russia close to Libya agreement - Turkish foreign minister | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

23 October, Friday


Turkey and Russia close to Libya agreement - Turkish foreign minister

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Turkey and Russia are close to reaching an agreement aimed at a new ceasefire and political process in Libya, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told CNN Turk on Wednesday, Ahval News reports. 

Ankara and Moscow are the main powerbrokers in the Libyan conflict and have held a series of talks aimed at reaching settlement. Turkey provides military support to the United Nations-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli. While Russian is a key backer of the rival administration in Tobruk headed by General Khalifa Haftar of the Libyan National Army (LNA).

Violence has fallen since the LNA failed to capture Tripoli in June, bringing the conflict to a near standstill. But barriers to a peace agreement remain, particularly differences over the oil-rich city of Sirte. Turkey has called for Sirte to be demilitarised, but this has been rejected by both the LNA, which controls the city, and Russia.

Turkey’s negotiating position was weakened on Wednesday after GNA Prime Minister Fayez al Sarraj announced he planned to resign by the end of October. Sarraj has been a close ally of Ankara, signing a controversial deal granting Turkey access to disputed territory off Libya’s coast in the eastern Mediterranean, which is now in doubt.

But Çavuşoğlu’s positive comments follow meetings between Turkish officials and their Russian counterparts in Ankara this week on issues including differences over Syria. Russia has also offered to mediate in the eastern Mediterranean, where Turkey is facing off against Greece.

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