Middle East Online

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Erdogan, Trump discuss Libya after Moscow talks collapse

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and US President Donald Trump discussed developments in Libya in a phone call on Wednesday after failing to convince Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar to sign a binding truce in Moscow.

The ceasefire agreement was aimed at halting Haftar’s nine-month campaign to try to conquer the Libyan capital from forces aligned with the internationally recognised government.

Russian state news agency RIA Novosti quoted a source in Haftar’s stronghold Benghazi as saying he did not sign because the agreement did not spell out a timeline for disbanding groups allied with Fayez al-Sarraj’s Government of National Accord (GNA).

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will host leaders of Turkey, Russia, the United States, Britain, China, France and Italy on Sunday at the summit, which follows a meeting in Moscow on Monday where Libya’s warring parties failed to sign a ceasefire agreement.

Since veteran dictator Moamer Gathafi was toppled in a 2011 uprising, the North African country has been in turmoil, with outside powers providing support to rival factions.

Trump warned on January 2 his Turkish counterpart against sending troops to fight in Libya hours after the Turkish Parliament voted to authorize such a move.

“Foreign interference is complicating the situation,” Trump said.

Trump and Erdogan also discussed the situation in Syria, protests in Iran and Iran’s downing of a Ukraine International Airlines flight, the White House said in a statement. Source