Senior Turkish officials including Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu visited Tripoli to meet Prime Minister Fayez al Sarraj after Turkey helped Libya's UN-backed government stave off an offensive by warlord Khalifa Haftar's militias.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (5L), Turkey's Minister of Finance and Treasury, Berat Albayrak (4L), Head of the Turkish Intelligence Organisation Hakan Fidan (2L) and Turkish Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin (L) meet with Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al Sarraj (C) during their official visit, on June 17, 2020 in Tripoli, Libya.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (5L), Turkey's Minister of Finance and Treasury, Berat Albayrak (4L), Head of the Turkish Intelligence Organisation Hakan Fidan (2L) and Turkish Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin (L) meet with Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al Sarraj (C) during their official visit, on June 17, 2020 in Tripoli, Libya. (AA)

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday he discussed a lasting ceasefire and political solution in Libya, as well as energy cooperation, during what he called a very beneficial visit to meet officials in Tripoli.

He was speaking to reporters after arriving back in Turkey from a trip with other senior Turkish officials to meet Libya's internationally-recognised government after Turkey helped it stave off an offensive by warlord Khalifa Haftar militias.

Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al Sarraj welcomed Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, and National Intelligence Organisation chief Hakan Fidan, the Libyan government said in a written statement.

It was noted that both sides discussed ways to enhance bilateral ties and their cooperation regarding the latest developments in the country, the resolution of the conflict and international efforts in this context.

Investment and defence 

The Turkish and Libyan officials also addressed the works and investments of Turkish public and private sector on the infrastructure and oil issues in Libya, the statement said.

The two sides also also exchanged views on the formation and equipping of Libya’s defence and security forces in line with the memorandum of understanding reached earlier, it added.

Furthermore, the maritime delimitation was also evaluated during the meeting.

Last November, Turkey and Libya signed landmark pacts on military cooperation as well as boundaries in the Mediterranean.

Under the deal, Turkey has sent advisers to help the Libyan army defeat the militias of warlord Khalifa Haftar.

Turkish support has been critical to the Government of National Accord (GNA) in turning back a 14-month campaign by the Libyan National Army (LNA), backed by Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, to capture Tripoli.

The visit, not previously announced, included Turkey's foreign and finance ministers, the intelligence chief and the national security adviser, the GNA said in a statement.

They met the GNA's prime minister, interior minister and oil company head.

Turkey's intervention 

Libya has been in chaos since the 2011 revolution that toppled Muammar Gaddafi and has been split since 2014 between rival administrations in Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi.

Ankara's intervention led to a sudden shift in front lines this month as Libya's forces pushed back the Haftar's militias and its allies from most of northwest Libya towards the central coastal city of Sirte.

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Libya's Prime Minister Fayez al Sarrac and warlord Khalifa Haftar have returned to ceasefire talks, but the United Nations, which is brokering their discussions, has warned of a possible major escalation due to the flow of weapons and fighters into Libya despite an arms embargo.

The Libyan army recently inflicted heavy blows on Haftar and liberated Tripoli and Tarhuna, in addition to other strategic locations, including Al Watiya airbase, from his militias.

Oil fields

Haftar still controls eastern Libya and much of the south, where some of the main oil fields, the source of most external revenue, are located.

However, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) and Central Bank, the only bodies allowed to sell Libyan oil according to international agreements, are located in Tripoli under the GNA.

Oil exports have been frozen for most of this year after eastern-based militias blockaded the ports, including the main ones near Sirte.

Last week NOC briefly restarted production at two of the main oil fields, but was forced to close them again after a few hours.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies