With a ramped-up Russian and Emirati presence in Libya, Turkey is engaging international stakeholders to maintain stability and prevent aggressive expansion.

Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu arrives in Libya at the head of a delegation.
Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu arrives in Libya at the head of a delegation. (AA)

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has met with the head of Libya's UN-recognised government in Tripoli to find a political solution to end the country's conflict.

The meeting took place on Thursday, and saw Cavusoglu accompanied by his Maltese counterpart Evaris Bartolo, where they exchanged views with Fayez al Sarraj, head of the Government of National Accord (GNA) backed by Ankara against eastern-based warlord Khalifa Haftar.

READ MORE: Russian cargo planes deliver Syrian fighters to Libya

'Problem persists'

"Even if there is no officially declared ceasefire, calm reigns on the ground" for now, Cavusoglu told reporters after the meeting.

But "Libya's problem persists", he added.

A "durable" ceasefire should mean that the GNA, Libya's "legitimate government", is able to spread its control to the east of Tripoli, in areas currently held by warlord Haftar's militias, Cavusoglu said.

That, he added, means being able to take control of the strategic port of Sirte, the gateway to the country's oilfields, and Al Jufra airbase, to the south.

READ MORE: Libyan army heads for front to liberate Sirte from Haftar's militias

Continuing conflict

Haftar, he added, "still does not believe in a political solution and can attack... Tripoli any time".

Warlord Haftar launched an offensive last year to seize Tripoli, headquarters of the GNA, but earlier this year forces loyal to the UN-recognised government pushed the militia leader from much of western Libya.

GNA forces have also vowed to retake Sirte, the last major settlement before the traditional boundary between western Libya and Haftar's stronghold in the east.

Libya has been mired in chaos since the 2011 overthrow of longtime leader Moamer Gaddafi, with rival political and armed groups battling for control.

Tensions have been running high between Turkey and nations that back warlord Haftar, notably Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The GNA signed security and maritime agreements with Turkey last year, and Ankara's military support has included drones that helped retake Libya's northwest.

Cavusoglu meets EU foreign policy chief

Cavusoglu met with the EU's foreign policy chief to discuss relations between Ankara and Brussels, as well as regional matters.

"Met w/ High Representative Josep Borrell Fontelles of the EU. Our relations should not be taken hostage by some member states," Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Twitter, following the meeting held in Mediterranean island nation of Malta.

He added: "EU should keep its promises on migration. Turkey will continue to defend forever her rights in the Eastern Mediterranean."

Source: AFP