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Turkish delegation to visit Moscow to mend divisions on Libya, Syria

Turkey and Russia support opposing sides in regional conflicts. [Getty]

Date of publication: 31 August, 2020

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A Turkish delegation is heading to Moscow for talks on Libya and Syria.

Turkey and Russia will hold two-day talks on Libya and Syria, the Turkish Foreign Ministry announced on Monday, countries where the two countries back opposing sides despite a strong energy and economic partnership.

A high-level delegation headed by Ambassador and Deputy Minister Sedat Önal visit Moscow from 31 August to 1 September to hold talks on regional developments, in particular Libya and Syria, a statement from the ministry said.

According to Turkish media reports, the Russian delegation will be led by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin.

The last round of political consultations between the two countries took place in July in Ankara, where delegations discussed Libya. 

Turkey is a strong backer of Libya's internationally-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), while Russia provides military support to renegade commander Khalifa Haftar who heads rival factions.

The recent talks in Moscow come after a ceasefire announced by Libya's GNA.

Read also: Libya's government announces cease-fire, calls for elections

According to The Jerusalem Post, Turkey and Russia are also working with Iran to undermine a US company's apparent oil deal in Syria with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which Ankara views as being composed of terrorist groups.

In a follow-up statement also released on Monday, the Turkish foreign ministry slammed Russia for inviting the SDF to the talks.

"We regret the invitation of a group composed by the Syrian Democratic Council under the influence of the terrorist YPG to the Russian Federation and the high-level reception by the Russian authorities," the ministry wrote.

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