Erdogan, Trump agree to work 'more closely' on Libya

Erdogan, Trump agree to work 'more closely' on Libya
2 min read
The US president and his Turkish counterpart on Tuesday announced an agreement to work more closely to solve the Libyan conflict.
The two leaders came to an agreement during a phone call on Tuesday [Getty]
US President Donald Trump and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to work "more closely" for a solution to the Libya conflict during a phone call on Tuesday, the Turkish presidency said. 

Erdogan and the US president "agreed to cooperate more closely, as allies, ... to promote lasting stability in Libya," it said.

Turkey supports Libya's UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) and has stepped up military support to Tripoli against eastern warlord Khalifa Haftar who launched an offensive to take the capital.

The United States officially backs the GNA, but Haftar is supported by Washington's allies Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Libya has been mired in chaos since the 2011 overthrow of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi with rival political and armed groups battling for control.

Haftar launched an offensive in April 2019 to seize Tripoli, but the GNA took advantage of Turkish military support including drones to re-impose its control over Libya's northwest.

The phone call between the US and Turkish leaders came as Libya's eastern-based parliament passed a motion authorising Egypt to intervene militarily if needed to safeguard the "national security" of both countries in light of what it termed a Turkish "occupation".

The rival legislature, located in Tobruk, backs military commander Haftar.

Read more: What does Egypt's 'declaration of war' in Libya really mean?

In a resolution passed late Monday, the legislature authorised "Egyptian armed forces to intervene to protect the national security of Libya and Egypt if they see an imminent danger to both our countries".

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi warned last month that Egypt could send troops into Libya, after the unity government pushed back Haftar's forces from around Tripoli following months of stalemate.

In its statement, Egypt's parliament said Libya and Cairo should work together "to guarantee the occupier's defeat and preserve our shared national security" in the face of "the dangers posed by the Turkish occupation".

While Libya's parliament rejects the unity government's legitimacy, it is also interally divided into pro- and anti-Haftar factions.

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