Turkish, Italian defence ministers agree Libya needs political solution

Defence ministers from Turkey and Italy agreed there needs to be a political solution to the conflict in Libya during a meeting in Ankara on Tuesday, Anadolu news agency reported.

Italian Defence Minister Lorenzo Guerini said that had been a “very positive and friendly meeting” between the two ministers.

"We shared our vision and knowledge. We did this within the framework of the friendship between Turkey and Italy. It is deep-rooted and cemented,” Guerini said.

“Especially on Libya, we once again agreed that we should produce a political solution for Libya to meet peace,” he said.

Turkey supports Libya’s United Nations-recognised, Tripoli-based Government of National Accord in its fight against the rebel General Khalifa Haftar’s eastern-based Libyan National Army, which is backed by Russia, Egypt, and France, among others.

Turkey’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said the meeting with his Italian counterpart had been “constructive,” according to Anadolu. 

“We had a rather sincere, constructive meeting with the [Italian] minister. We exchanged views on our countries, NATO, and region,” Akar told reporters after the meeting.

"We believe that the effective cooperation between the two countries in all areas, especially in the field of defence and security, both in civil and military sectors, will provide very important benefits not only for our countries but also for the whole region,” he said.

The officials shared views over the eastern Mediterranean, where tensions have been rising over Turkey’s increasingly assertive claims over hydrocarbon exploration rights, which Greece and Cyprus dispute.

"For a stabilised Mediterranean, we need to work together and we all have to shoulder responsibility," Guerini said.