Ankara, Washington Agree to Join Forces in Libya, Turkish Foreign Minister Says

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ANKARA (Sputnik) - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US leader Donald Trump have agreed to cooperate in Libya, gripped by a nine-year civil war, the Turkish foreign minister said Thursday.

"Our president suggested to Trump that we could cooperate there, and Trump reacted positively", Mevlut Cavusoglu said during a video conference.

He added that his ministry, as well as the Turkish military and intelligence, had been ordered to coordinate their actions in Libya with the US.

"We are conducting this work", Cavusoglu said.

The statement comes after the western-based Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), which is the eastern-based forces' rival in the conflict, received a high-level delegation from Ankara. During the meeting, the parties discussed the recent developments in the North African country, as well as security and military agreements between Turkey and Libya’s western-based authorities. The Turkish delegation included Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Minister of Finance Berat Albayrak and National Intelligence Organization Chief Hakan Fidan.

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Turkey has provided extensive military support to the GNA since it requested assistance in late 2019. The sides signed a military cooperation pact that was heavily criticized by the LNA and the eastern-based authorities that it supports.

Libya has been split between two rival administrations since its longtime leader was deposed and killed in a NATO-led operation in 2011. Turkey supports Tripoli's UN-backed Government of National Accord, while its regional rivals back eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar.

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