Turkish, Libyan defense chiefs talk Libya developments

Turkey’s defense minister met his Libyan counterpart in Istanbul on Saturday, the Turkish National Defense Ministry said.

Hulusi Akar and Salahaddin Namroush exchanged views on the latest developments in Libya, the ministry said in a statement.

Akar said Turkey is closely monitoring ongoing efforts for a political solution in Libya.

“Turkey’s goal is to contribute to the formation of a Libya that has ensured its territorial integrity and political unity, and lives in peace, tranquility and stability,” he said.

Akar reiterated Turkey’s commitment to keep up consultations with Libya and continue military and security training for Libyan forces.

“Turkey supports Libya’s stability, independence, and sovereignty,” he said.

Namroush’s visit came a day after Libya’s warring sides agreed to hold national parliamentary and presidential elections on Dec. 24 next year.

The agreement was reached during UN-sponsored talks in Tunisia between representatives of the internationally recognized Libyan government and warlord Khalifa Haftar.

The participants agreed to establish a new Presidential Council and executive body to manage the transition period and hold national elections, according to Stephanie Turco Williams, head of the UN support mission in Libya.

Libya has been torn by a civil war since the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The country’s new government was founded in 2015 under an UN-led agreement, but efforts for a long-term political settlement failed due to a military offensive by warlord Khalifa Haftar’s forces.

With Turkey’s help, the UN-recognized Government of National Accord, headed by Fayez al-Sarraj, has made significant gains against Haftar’s forces in recent months.

Source: Anadolu Agency