The Turkish and Russian presidents on Monday spoke over the phone and discussed a variety of issues, including bilateral relations and developments in the region, according to the Turkish Communications Directorate.

The directorate said Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin discussed bilateral ties, recent escalation between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and latest developments in Libya and Syria.

Both leaders agreed to maintain cooperation and dialogue regarding bilateral relations and regional issues.

Since April 2019, warlord Khalifa Haftar’s illegitimate forces have launched attacks on the Libyan capital of Tripoli and other parts of northwestern Libya, resulting in more than 1,000 deaths, including civilian women and children.

However, the Libyan government has recently achieved significant victories, pushing Haftar’s forces out of Tripoli and the strategic city of Tarhuna.

The country’s 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 Haftar, who has been backed by France, Russia, the UAE, and Egypt.

The UN recognizes the Libyan government headed by Fayez al-Sarraj as the country’s legitimate authority.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

The regime violence led to the death and displacement of millions of Syrian civilians. Today, Turkey stands as the world’s top refugee-hosting country with its Syrian population of 3.6 million.

*Writing by Ali Murat Alhas

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