The United States embassy in Libya has announced U.S. President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan discussed in a phone call the steps necessary to achieve a demilitarized zone in central Libya.
The two leaders also addressed ways to achieve a complete withdrawal of foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya, and stressed the need to enable the National Oil Corporation to resume its vital work.
The phone call was followed by a visit from U.S. Ambassador Richard Norland to senior Turkish officials in Ankara, where they discussed “the urgent need to support Libyan voices genuinely seeking an end to the conflict and return to UN-facilitated political dialogue, with full respect for Libya’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the U.S. embassy said in a statement on Aug. 12.
Earlier in the week, Norland was in Egypt’s capital, Cairo, where he discussed with Egyptian officials ways to bring peace to the war-torn North African nation. He also met Tobruk-based Speaker of the House of Representatives Aqila Saleh.
Amid rising tensions, neighbouring Egypt threatened to send troops into Libya if the Turkish-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) forces try to seize the strategic city of Sirte – the gateway to Libya’s eastern oilfields.
Last month, the Egyptian parliament gave a greenlight for possible military intervention, but Turkey warned any Egyptian deployment in Libya would hamper efforts to end the fighting.