Syria's Bashar Assad regime signed an agreement Saturday with liaisons of Libyan putschist, Gen. Khalifa Haftar, to open diplomatic missions and discussed cooperation against Turkish operations, the regime's news outlet SANA reported.
According to the report, a committee of senior officials loyal to Haftar met the regime members, including Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad, in Damascus to discuss political and security coordination and information sharing, especially in regard to their fight against Turkish and Turkey-backed forces.
The agreements included a 46-article memorandum of understanding (MoU) of committing Damascus and Tobruk to “reactivating” ties, reopening diplomatic missions and coordinating both countries’ stances at international and regional forums, particularly against Turkey.
The Libyan committee that visited Damascus included the vice president of Haftar's illegitimate government, Abdurrahman al-Ahirash, Foreign Relations and International Aid Minister Abdulhadi Huveyj, Defense Minister Younes Farhan and intelligence chief Mustafa al-Mukaran.
Since the ousting of late ruler Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: Haftar in eastern Libya, supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, which enjoys U.N. and international recognition.
Ankara repeatedly expressed its support for Libya’s legitimate Tripoli administration and recently signed a military deal to provide logistical support and training to Libyan military personnel.
The meeting comes as tensions between the regime and Turkey flair in Syria. Ankara launched Sunday an operation against the Assad regime after regime airstrikes killed 34 Turkish soldiers and injured tens of others in Idlib. Turkish soldiers are working to protect local civilians as part of a September 2018 deal with Russia that prohibits any acts of aggression in the de-escalation zone set up around Idlib.
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