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Putin, Erdogan discuss conflicts in Libya, Turkish, Qatari and German ministers visit Libya

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Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the conflicts in Libya and Syria with his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan in a telephone call on Monday, the Kremlin said in a statement.

The Kremlin said the call’s main focus was on the crisis in Libya, highlighting the need to make real steps towards a sustainable ceasefire.

It also said both leaders agreed to step up anti-terrorism efforts in Syria, after reports earlier on Monday of a Turkish-Russian joint patrol being hit by a blast in the Idlib region. 

Meanwhile, Turkey and Qatar’s defence ministers and Germany’s foreign minister visited the Libyan capital Tripoli on Monday amid efforts to secure a ceasefire in the divided country, Libyan and Turkish media reported.

Turkey provided crucial military support to the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) to help it stave off a 14-month assault from rival forces based in eastern Libya earlier this year.

Libya has been split since 2014 between factions based in the east and west of the country, and regional powers have aligned themselves with the competing sides.

While Turkey and its regional ally Qatar support the GNA, forces in the east led by Khalifa Haftar have received backing from the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Russia.

Turkey signed a military accord with the GNA late last year, as well as a memorandum of understanding on maritime boundaries, that rattled its rivals in the eastern Mediterranean.

Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar and Chief of Staff General Yasar Guler were in Tripoli on Monday to “observe the operations” under the military cooperation deal with Libya, Turkey’s defence ministry said.

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