Erdogan, Trump agree to work 'more closely' on Libya: presidency

Istanbul (AFP) –


US President Donald Trump and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to work "more closely" for a solution to the Libya conflict during a phone call on Tuesday, the Turkish presidency said.

Erdogan and the US president "agreed to cooperate more closely, as allies, ... to promote lasting stability in Libya," it said.

Turkey supports Libya's UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) and has stepped up military support to Tripoli against eastern warlord Khalifa Haftar who launched an offensive to take the capital.

The United States officially backs the GNA, but Haftar is supported by Washington's allies Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

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

Haftar launched an offensive in April 2019 to seize Tripoli, but the GNA took advantage of Turkish military support including drones to re-impose its control over Libya's northwest.