Turkey and Libya will maintain training and consultancy activities in the area of the military and security, Turkey’s National Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.

Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and his visiting Libyan counterpart Salah Al-Namroush led committee meetings in the capital Ankara, including representatives from both sides and agreed to continue training and consultancy, said a ministry statement.

Stating that their countries share a common history dating back five centuries and enjoyed friendly cultural ties, the statement said Akar reiterated that Turkey stands with the UN-recognized Libyan administration in an effort to ensure peace and stability in the country.

Akar said: “Libya belongs to the Libyans” and stressed that Turkey supports an independent, sovereign Libya where territorial integrity and political unity are stabilized.

Last November, Turkey and Libya signed a security and military cooperation agreement.

Libya has been torn by a civil war since the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The country’s new government was founded in 2015 under a UN-led agreement, but efforts for a long-term political settlement failed due to a military offensive by warlord Khalifa Haftar’s forces.

The UN recognizes the Libyan government headed by Fayez al-Sarraj as the country’s legitimate authority, as Tripoli battles Haftar’s militias. Turkey also supports the legitimate government in Tripoli.

This March, the government launched Operation Peace Storm against Haftar to counter Haftar’s attacks on the capital Tripoli, and recently liberated strategic locations, including Al-Watiya airbase and the city of Tarhuna, Haftar’s final stronghold in western Libya.

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