Trump urges Libya de-escalation on call with Erdogan: White House

AL-AHARAM Reuters , Saturday 23 May 2020

U.S. President Donald Trump called for a “rapid de-escalation” of the Libyan conflict on a call with Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday, the White House said, after recent gains by forces backed by Turkey prompted threats of retaliation.

Ankara said the NATO allies agreed to continue pursuing stability in the eastern Mediterranean region, including in Syria, while a spokesman for Erdogan said the international community must stand with Turkey in the Libyan conflict.

Turkey backs Libya’s internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), which has made significant military gains in recent weeks in battles with the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) of Khalifa Haftar.

With Turkish help, the GNA has seized a string of towns, captured a strategic airbase and destroyed several of the LNA’s Russian-made air defence systems.

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