Turkey and Libya plan to advance cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean, including search and drilling activities, to further benefit from natural resources, said the Turkish president in a meeting with the Libyan prime minister on Thursday.
The meeting between Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Fayez al-Sarraj took place in the presidential palace in the Turkish capital Ankara.
Erdogan said Turkey and Libya have reached a consensus on expanding their cooperation areas on the territory of Libya.
"Turkey and Libya plan to advance cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean, including search and drilling activities, to further benefit from natural resources," he said.
Erdogan also called on the international community to stop the putschist Khalifa Haftar from illegally selling oil which rightfully belongs to the Libyan people.
"The oil, which should be used for the welfare of Libya and all Libyans, should not be allowed to be sold illegally by the putschists," he said.
Erdogan also noted that Turkey will stand by the Sarraj government, and continue fighting on all international platforms for a just and legitimate solution.
"We will never leave our Libyan brothers at the mercy of putschists and mercenaries," he said.
On a political process and solution under the auspices of the UN, Erdogan said that although Haftar and his militias have committed crimes against humanity and war crimes, the Sarraj government has always taken a positive attitude in this process.
Erdogan stressed that a person who constantly threatens the future of Libya can no longer have a representation right to sit on the negotiation table.
"History will judge those who cause bloodshed and tears in Libya by supporting putschist Haftar," he added.
Referring to Libya's fight with COVID-19, Erdogan said that despite Haftar's heinous attacks, the Libyan government took necessary measures against the pandemic.
Turkey’s historic, brave stance on Libya
"We've thanked Turkey for its historic and brave stance on Libya," said Sarraj in the meeting.
Referring to the Libyan government's fight with Haftar and his militias in the eastern part of the country, Sarraj said: "We will continue our struggle until we eliminate the enemy in Libya."
He said the Libyan government has achieved great success against the attacks initiated by mercenaries and their supporters.
"We completely liberated Tripoli and its surroundings. Actually, this success is the victory of all of us," he said.
On possible new talks, Sarraj said the Libyan government will not allow negotiations in the next stages with warlord Khalifa Haftar.
Meanwhile, Sarraj said the Libyan government wants to see Turkish companies in Libya during the reconstruction of the country.
He said Libya has a great opportunity to establish constructive cooperation with Turkey due to its natural and human resources.
*Writing by Fahri Aksut and Firdevs Bulut