Erdoğan discusses Libya in phone call with Putin

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 17.12.2019 15:32
Updated 20.12.2019 02:28
emFile Photo/em
File Photo

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held talks on the situation in Libya in a phone call Tuesday.

The two leaders also discussed regional developments, including Syria.

Erdoğan and Putin will next month meet to discuss the details of a plan created by Turkey to provide military support to Libya's internationally recognized government, the Kremlin said earlier Tuesday.

"Russia supports all efforts by individual countries in terms of finding a solution to the (Libyan) crisis," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Turkey and Libya signed two separate deals on Nov. 27 following a meeting between Erdoğan and the head of the Presidential Council of the Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez al-Sarraj, in Istanbul. One of the deals was critically important in enabling Turkey to secure its rights in the Mediterranean while preventing any fait accompli action by other states in the region. The other agreement outlined military cooperation.

The deal offers Turkish support for the establishment of a Quick Reaction Force for police and military in Libya, as well as enhanced cooperation in intelligence and in the defense industry. Following the military cooperation deal, Erdoğan said Ankara might consider sending troops to Libya if the Libyan government requested military assistance.

As a result, the agreement became one of the leading topics on Parliament’s agenda.

The deal outlines the establishment of a military unit with the duties of a police force to function in Libya with Turkish training. Turkey will also provide consultancy, experience, planning and equipment. It also outlines the formation of an office to orchestrate defense and security cooperation between both countries.

Furthermore, the agreement puts forth the suggestion that the two countries cooperate in the fields of security and defense, the fight against terrorism and illegal migration, as well as the security of maritime, airspace and land borders and the prevention of smuggling. The two countries are also to act together on topics of training and information sharing over natural disasters, conducting joint exercises, governance of personnel and bilateral official visits. Both countries are also expected to exchange intelligence, cooperate on operational and logistic issues, and exchange information on logistic systems, military medicine and health services, electronic information systems, cyber defense, protection of peace, humanitarian aid and the fight against pirates. There will also be an exchange of personnel for the improvement of vocational training as well as social, sports and cultural events.

An earlier memorandum on maritime boundaries asserted Turkey's rights in the Eastern Mediterranean in the face of unilateral drilling by the Greek Cypriot administration, clarifying that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) also has rights to the resources in the area. It went into effect on Dec. 8.

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