On Sunday, the Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez Al-Sarraj, held closed-door talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul. They discussed the most recent developments in Libya, bilateral relations, and regional matters.
During the meeting, President Erdogan stated that “Turkey will continue to stand in solidarity with the GNA. He reiterated that Turkey’s priority is to restore Libya’s stability, without further delay”, the Presidency said. He also said that “Libya’s peace and stability would benefit its neighbours and the entire region, starting with Europe,” and that “the international community ought to assume a principled stance in that regard.”
During the Istanbul talks, the two leaders also exchanged views on “ways to strengthen cooperation, together with steps to defend Turkey, and Libya’s rights in the eastern Mediterranean”, according to the Turkish Presidency. Sunday’s meeting coincided with talks in Morocco between delegates from Libya’s rival administrations. Last month, the two warring sides announced separately that they would cease hostilities, and hold elections next year. This drew praise from world powers, after a series of fruitless initiatives in recent years to bring an end to the conflict.
Since the 2011 toppling and killing of leader, Muammar Gaddafi, Libya has been torn by violence, with rival administrations vying for control, and international forces militarily backing opposing sides.
Turkey backs the GNA, against the Libyan National Army (LNA), commanded by Khalifa Haftar, who is supported by Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Russia. Ankara signed security and maritime deals with the GNA in November 2019. It began to send weapons and mercenaries which helped turn the tide in the GNA’s favour in the increasingly complex war. This maritime deal has angered Greece, which says it violates international law.