Turkish, Russian ministers meet for Libya, Syria talks

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu will visit Istanbul today for talks with their Turkish counterparts on the situation in Libya and Syria, Turkish media reported citing Foreign Ministry sources.

Ankara and Moscow back opposing sides in the both conflicts. In Libya, Turkey throws its weight behind the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), whose forces have in recent weeks repelled an over year-long assault on capital Tripoli by the Libyan National Army (LNA), backed by Russia. In Syria, Turkey supports opposition fighters, while Russia backs Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.

“During the visit, delegations are expected to have consultations and discuss coordination on regional issues,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said regarding the meetings, which will include military and security officials from both sides. In March, Ankara and Moscow signed an agreement, which led to a ceasefire halting fighting in northwest Syria’s Idlib, but the region has been hit by air strikes this week.

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