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Turkey signs military deal with Libya’s GNA

Turkey signed a military deal late Wednesday with Libya’s UN-recognised government following a meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, his office said.

Erdogan met with the head of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, to sign agreements on security and military cooperation, as well as maritime jurisdictions.

“We are confident that we will improve the security situation for the Libyan people together,” Fahrettin Altun, communications director at the Turkish presidency, wrote on Twitter.

He called on other countries to support the GNA.

“Stability of Libya is critically important for the safety of Libyans, regional stability, and prevention of international terrorism,” Altun tweeted.

The deal comes despite calls from the Arab League – which includes Libya – to end cooperation with Turkey in protest at its military offensive against Kurdish forces in Syria last month.

Libya has been mired in chaos since a NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE back Khalifa Haftar, a military strongman in eastern Libya who launched an offensive in April in a bid to seize Tripoli from militant groups loyal to the GNA.

Turkey and Qatar openly support his rival Sarraj.

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