|Date: Sep 8, 2020|
|Source: The Daily Star|
|Turkey's Erdogan meets with head of Libya's UN-recognized govt|
|Agence France Presse|
ISTANBUL: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held closed-door talks with the head of Libya's UN-recognized government Sunday, ahead of a meeting between delegates from the war-struck country's rival administrations in Morocco.
Erdogan's meeting with the head of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez al-Sarraj, took place in Istanbul, the Turkish presidency said, without giving details.
A picture from the meeting posted on the presidency's website showed Erdogan and Sarraj standing side-by-side, posing for the camera with neutral expressions.
No statement was made to the media.
Since the 2011 toppling and killing of longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi in a NATO-backed uprising, Libya has been torn by violence, with its rival administrations vying for control and international forces militarily backing each.
Turkey backs the GNA against military strongman Khalifa Haftar, who is supported by Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Russia.
Ankara signed security and maritime deals with the GNA last year and sent drones which turned the tide in the increasingly complex war and helped Sarraj's government make gains against Haftar's forces.
Last month, the two warring sides announced separately that they would cease all hostilities and hold nationwide elections, drawing praise from world powers after a series of fruitless initiatives in recent years to stop the conflict.
Delegates from the rival administrations will meet for talks in Morocco Sunday, a diplomatic source said.
The discussions will take place in a coastal resort south of Morocco's capital Rabat, and will be attended by five delegates from each side, the Moroccan diplomatic source said.