US President Donald Trump on Thursday warned his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan against any “foreign interference” in Libya, the White House said, after Turkish lawmakers approved a military deployment to shore up the UN-recognized government in Tripoli.
In a telephone call less than an hour after Ankara passed the bill allowing troop deployment to Tripoli., Trump “pointed out that foreign interference is complicating the situation in Libya,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a statement.
The Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli has been under attack since April by the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by General Khalifa Haftar.
Erdogan has repeatedly accused Russia of sending private mercenaries to support the LNA, though this has been denied by Moscow.
According to the Turkish presidency, Trump and Erdogan “stressed the importance of diplomacy in resolving regional issues.” the said.
The situation in Syria was also addressed on the call, it added.
The White House statement said the leaders “agreed on the need for de-escalation in Idlib, Syria, in order to protect civilians,” a day after eight people were killed in a Syrian missile strike in the province.