Turkey withdraws from Libya summit in Italy: vice president

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Prime Minister of Italy, Giuseppe Conte (C-R) and Vice President of Turkey, Fuat Oktay (C-L) chat before the Libya Conference in Palermo, Italy on November 13, 2018. AFP PHOTOS

Turkey has withdrawn from a two-day summit on Libya that is being held in Italy with “deep disappointment,” Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay told reporters on Tuesday, objecting to what he said was Ankara’s exclusion from some of the talks, Reuters reported.

“Any meeting that excludes Turkey would prove to be counterproductive for the solution of this problem,” Oktay said. He was speaking from Palermo, where a two-day Libya summit is being held to discuss a UN peace plan to stabilize the North African country, in turmoil since 2011.

Many of Libya’s leading factions met on Monday in Palermo in an effort to reunite the country’s institutions and find a new path to elections that a previous French-convened conference failed to achieve, The Guardian reported.

The two-day conference symbolizes an Italian determination to regain diplomatic responsibility for Libya after the French president, Emmanuel Macron, convened a surprise summit in Paris in May in a bid to push for Libyan elections on Dec. 10.

Although Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte hoped for a high profile summit, the meetings were in disarray, as US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin did not show up.

Even Conte did not arrive until mid-afternoon, while the Italian foreign minister, Enzo Moavero, surprised some observers by flying to Brussels, according to The Guardian.

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