Trump, Erdoğan discuss Syria, Libya developments in phone call: report

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (R) and U.S. President Donald Trump (L) speak to each other during the 2018 NATO Summit at NATO headquarters on July 11, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. PHOTO: AFP

US President Donald Trump discussed developments in Syria and Libya in a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday, Reuters reported, citing a tweet posted by a White House spokesman.

“The two leaders discussed the need to eliminate foreign interference and maintain the ceasefire in Libya. The leaders agreed that the violence being carried out in Idlib, Syria must stop,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a tweet.

A renewed drive by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to recapture rebel-held Idlib province in Syria’s northwest sparked a fresh exodus of many thousands of civilians toward Turkey’s border on Monday amid heavy air strikes, aid workers and witnesses said.

In Libya, military commander Khalifa Haftar moved forces on Sunday toward the city of Misrata, which is allied to the country’s internationally recognized government, officials and residents said.

The increase in fighting came a week after Turkey, which backs the government in Tripoli, and the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Russia, which back Haftar, agreed with Western powers at a summit in Berlin to push for a lasting ceasefire and uphold an arms embargo.

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