Russian diplomats and Turkish government delegation initiated talks in Moscow that lasted for more than three days which is longer than expected. According to the reports on December 26, the two sides discussed Syria and Libya. Turkish government officials travelled to Russia on Monday for talks on Syria. The reports claim that Russia has backed Turkey to attack Syria which has resulted in the fleeing of thousands of Syrians. Ibrahim Kalin, spokesperson of the Turkish President said on Tuesday that Russia should take some steps to prevent attacks in the northwestern Syrian region of Idlib after discussions with the Turkish officials in Moscow.
Both sides also discussed Libya after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said last week that his country would not remain silent as the Russian backed Wagner group supports Khalifa Haftar’s forces there. Moscow said that it is concerned about the prospect of Turkish troops being deployed to Libya. A security and military cooperation deal with Libya was approved by the Turkish parliament on December 21 allowing Turkey to widen its activities in the north African country.
The agreement comes weeks after concluding a controversial deal on maritime jurisdiction. Libya has been facing unrest since a NATO-backed uprising ousted and killed dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011. In April, military strongman Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive to seize Tripoli from fighters loyal to the UN-recognised GNA, led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj. In its official Twitter handle, the parliament said that the proposal has become law after approval.
Ankara is ready to send troops into Libya if requested by Tripoli but the current military agreement would not allow Turkish combatant forces to go to Libya told Erdogan to the media. Both the countries will send military personnel and police for training and education purposes, informed senior Turkish officials to the Press. A separate mandate from the parliament would be needed by the Turkish government to deploy combat troops to Libya. The Turkey-Libya MoU also covers increased cooperation in the fields of intelligence, terrorism, the defence industry, and migration.