December 17, 2019 / 9:57 AM / 2 months ago

Russia and Turkey to discuss Libya military support in January: Kremlin

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan will discuss Ankara’s offer to provide military support to Libya’s internationally recognised government during talks in Turkey next month, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.

On Saturday, Turkey sent a bilateral accord with the Tripoli government to its parliament for approval, in a move that brings it closer to potentially sending military aid for the government of Fayez al-Serraj.

Turkey has said that it may send military support to Libya if Serraj’s government requested it, but Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Saturday that no such request had been made to Turkey yet.

“Russia... supports any efforts and individual countries in terms of finding solutions to the (Libyan) crisis,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Later on Tuesday, Erdogan and Putin held a phone call where they discussed developments in Libya and Syria, as well as their bilateral ties and other regional issues, the Turkish presidency said in a statement. No further details were available.

Libya has been divided since 2014 into rival military and political camps in the capital Tripoli and the east. Turkey has backed Serraj’s Tripoli-based government, while forces led by Khalifa Haftar in eastern Libya, the Libyan National Army (LNA), have received support from the Russia, United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

Reporting by Alexander Marrow and Maria Kiselyova in Moscow; Tuvan Gumrukcu and Ali Kucukgocmen in Turkey; Editing by Alex Richardson

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