ANKARA

Turkey’s foreign minister spoke over the phone with his German and Irish counterparts, according to a diplomatic source on Tuesday.

Mevlut Cavusoglu discussed tourism and bilateral relations as well as the latest developments in Libya and Eastern Mediterranean with Germany’s Heiko Maas and Ireland’s Simon Coveney, said the source on the condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

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.

In November 2019, Turkey and Libya signed landmark pacts on military cooperation, as well as maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean Sea.

Under the deal, Turkey sent advisers to help Libyan forces defeat Haftar’s militias.

The Libyan government launched Operation Peace Storm against Haftar in March to counter his attacks on the capital since April 2019, and recently liberated strategic locations including al-Watiya airbase and the city of Tarhuna, Haftar’s last stronghold in western Libya.

The maritime pact between Ankara and Tripoli asserted Turkey’s rights in the Eastern Mediterranean in the face of unilateral drilling by the Greek Cypriot administration, clarifying that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus also had rights to resources in the area. It went into effect on Dec. 8, 2019.

*Writing by Erdogan Cagatay Zontur

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