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Turkey’s defense minister, military chief visit Libya for cooperation talks: report

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Turkey’s defense minister and military chief visited war-torn Libya’s capital on Friday, the country’s UN-recognized government said, the second visit in weeks by a minister from its main international backer, AFP reported.

Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Güler discussed “military and security cooperation” with the head of the Government of National Accord Fayez al-Sarraj and military officials, the GNA said.

The visit comes a month after GNA forces declared they were back in full control of Tripoli and its suburbs following a year-long offensive by eastern military strongman Khalifa Haftar to seize the capital.

While the GNA has received extensive military backing from Ankara and is also supported by Qatar, Haftar is backed by Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Libya’s eastern neighbor Egypt.

On June 17 Turkeys’ foreign and finance ministers Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Berat Albayrak, along with intelligence chief Hakan Fidan, visited Tripoli for talks with Sarraj.

Friday’s talks covered defense and security training programs under a deal signed by Tripoli and Ankara in November of last year, a statement said.

“Turkish support for [the GNA] continues in the areas of military and security cooperation,” said GNA deputy defense minister Salah Namrush.

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