ANKARA

Turkish and Italian foreign ministers held a press conference in the capital Ankara on Friday.

Mevlut Cavusoglu and Luigi Di Maio discussed bilateral relations and regional issues, including Libya.

Cavusoglu said Turkey and Italy will continue working for a lasting peace and an efficient political process in Libya.

“We are aware of the critical role that Italy has played. We thank them. They played a balanced role,” Cavusoglu said.

He said Italy, unlike some EU countries, has not taken sides with the putschist Khalifa Haftar.

“Italy has made sincere efforts for a cease-fire and political process,” he said.

Cavusoglu said Turkey would like to see Italy on other platforms about Libya and this request has been conveyed to Russia and other countries.

Meanwhile, Di Maio said Italy wants a sustainable cease-fire in Libya.

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

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

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

The internationally recognized Libyan government has been under attack by Haftar’s forces since April 2019, with more than 1,000 killed in the violence.

* Writing by Fahri Aksut.

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