Libyan government paid $12 billion to Turkey – report

Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) paid $12 billion in financial assistance to Turkey for its support during a military conflict in the North African country, Middle East Online reported.

Some $4 billion of the cash was paid to Turkey’s central bank, the website said, citing a report by Libya Review on Sunday.

Fayez al-Sarraj, prime minister of the United Nations-recognised GNA in Tripoli met with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Wednesday to discuss ways to enhance bilateral cooperation.

Turkish and GNA officials discussed how Turkey could help in energy exploration and operations, including cooperation "on every imaginable project" to help resources reach global markets, a senior Turkish official said, according to Middle East Online.

Turkey is the GNA’s main backer against opposition forces in Libya’s east, which are supported by Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. Last week, the latter threatened a possible military intervention should the GNA go through with plans to attack the city of Sirte, a key hub for Libya’s mineral wealth located on the Mediterranean Sea.

Libyan and Turkish officials also discussed payments owed to Turkish companies for past energy and construction work in Libya, Middle East Online said.

Turkey’s central bank has spent tens of billions of dollars of its foreign exchange reserves this year to shore up the lira, which slid to a record low in early May. The country’s economy was emerging from a currency crisis in 2018 when the COVID-19 outbreak started to hit economic activity in March.