Turkey and the US are approaching a new era in ties over the handling of the situation in Libya, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Monday.
A new era can begin in bilateral relations on the transition process in Libya, Erdoğan told national broadcaster TRT soon after a phone call with his US counterpart Donald Trump.
He stressed that Turkey stands by Libya’s UN-recognized government against the putschist Khalifa Haftar and those who support him.
Touting the strategic gains on the battlefield by Libya’s army, which has retaken areas from Haftar, he said Haftar will be excluded from any political solution in Libya.
Erdoğan also said he would speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin about Moscow’s claims that it does not have any soldiers in Libya.
He added that all of Haftar’s power comes from Russia.
Following the ouster of leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya’s new government was founded in 2015 under a political deal led by the UN.
The government and western parts of the country have been under attack by Haftar’s forces since April 2019, with over 1,000 killed.
Erdoğan also emphasized that so far, things have gone well in Idlib, Syria since a ceasefire came into effect in March but noted that some of the agreements reached by Ankara and Moscow have not been adhered to and there have been violations by the Bashar al-Assad regime.
ERDOĞAN’S CONCERNS OVER US
“The killing of George Floyd is a manifestation of a racist approach. It is a situation that no conscientious person can accept,” Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan told Trump about his concerns that those behind the recent violence and looting during protests in the US over Floyd’s death are working with the YPG/PKK, a terrorist group operating in northern Syria.
On Trump saying he would declare the left-wing anti-fascist group Antifa a terrorist organization, Erdoğan said the PKK/YPG terrorist group’s cooperation with Antifa is significant.
Trump told Erdoğan that he was aware of this and that they would hold another meeting and he would convey information about the issue from Turkey.
Erdoğan added that the names of members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) were given to US officials and that Trump said he will obtain that information and “do the necessary work” regarding these people.
TURKEY ISSUES HARSH WARNING TO GREECE
Erdoğan also touched on recent comments on Hagia Sophia, an Ottoman imperial mosque and now a museum in Istanbul, saying Greece has been interfering in Turkey’s domestic politics.
Earlier, Greece spoke out against a proposal raised in Turkey to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque.
“Greece is not the one administrating this land, so it should avoid making such remarks,” Erdoğan said.
“If Greece does not know its place, Turkey knows how to answer.”
HANDLING OF CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
On the apparently waning coronavirus pandemic, Erdoğan said he was satisfied with the way the country has handled the virus, adding there are around 60,000 orders for Turkey’s domestically-produced ventilators.
Turkey was well prepared and learned from the mistakes of other counties and therefore boosted the production of medical equipment, he said.
Erdoğan also said the government has made sure that there are no price hikes or hoarding of medical equipment.
He said that by the end of the year, their goal was to build five more city hospitals and 30 hospitals overall in 30 big cities of Turkey.