Turkey's support for Libya under the deal on security and military cooperation prevented a civil war and human tragedy, says Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Tripoli.
Turkey was the only country to help Libya's internationally recognised government during attacks in Tripoli by militias loyal to warlord Khalifa Haftar, Turkish foreign minister has said.
"In the face of the attacks on Tripoli, the legitimate government of Libya invited some countries, including us. Only Turkey replied in the affirmative to this call," Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a news conference alongside his Libyan counterpart Najla Mangouch in Tripoli on Monday.
He said Turkey's support for Libya under the deal on security and military cooperation prevented a civil war and human tragedy.
Turkey considers it important that Libya’s integrity, sovereignty, independence, and political unity are protected, Cavusoglu said.
"We attach importance to preservation of Libya's integrity, sovereignty, independence, and political unity," Cavusoglu said.
The two top diplomats addressed economic cooperation, investments in Libya, and bilateral trade relations, and discussed the return of the Turkish private sector to Libya, according to Cavusoglu.
Mangouch stressed the "importance of Turkey's contribution to ending fighting and the stabilisation of the ceasefire throughout the country."
Met w/President al-Manfi & Members al-Lafi & al-Koni of Pres. Council of #Libya.— Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (@MevlutCavusoglu) May 3, 2021
-Emphasized our support to Pres. Council.
-Our Strategic Partnership is developing in every field including defense,security,trade&energy.
-Will continue to stand by our Libyan brothers&sisters.🇹🇷🇱🇾 pic.twitter.com/DGCC31sK7Q
Meeting on bilateral and regional issues
Cavusoglu said he's happy to be in Libya with a large Turkish delegation including Defence Minister Hulusi Akar and Hakan Fidan, head of the National Intelligence Organisation.
He said Turkey will continue to stand by the Libyans and Ankara will intensify the contacts in the coming days.
Cavusoglu invited his Libyan counterpart to the Antalya Diplomacy Forum to be held in the second week of June.
Chaos since 2011
Turkey has been closely involved in Libya. It backed the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli against Hafter's militants. Turkey sent military supplies and fighters to Libya helping to tilt the balance of power in favour of the GNA.
Turkey also signed an agreement with the Tripoli-based government delineating the maritime boundaries between the two countries in the Mediterranean.
Libya was plunged into chaos when a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 toppled longtime ruler Moammar Gadhafi, who was later killed.
The oil-rich country was in recent years split between rival east- and west-based administrations, each backed by different armed groups and foreign governments.
Libya's interim government, which took power in March, is tasked with bringing together a country that has been torn apart by civil war for nearly a decade. It also aims to steer Libya through a general election on December 24.
Security Council diplomats say there are more than 20,000 foreign fighters and mercenaries in Libya.
The Security Council's 15 member nations agreed in an informal meeting last week that getting the foreign fighters and mercenaries to go home was the only way forward, according to the officials.