Turkish, eastern Libya officials meet in rare talks
The Speaker of the eastern Libya-based Libyan House of Representatives, Aqila Saleh, met on Wednesday with the Turkish ambassador to Libya, Kanaan Yilmaz.
The meeting appears to mark a new step towards rapprochement between Ankara and eastern Libyan officials after years of hostile relations, with Yilmaz's visit being the first by a Turkish official to eastern Libya.
Turkey long supported the former UN-backed Government of National Unity (GNA) based in Tripoli, including in Libya's civil war that pitted it against the rival eastern government allied with rogue general Khalifa Haftar.
Haftar has had varying degrees of foreign support from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Russia, France, and Egypt.
The two sides signed a peace agreement in October 2020, creating a new interim government, but the country's future remains uncertain amid continued tensions between politicians based in the east and west of the country and the postponing of presidential elections which were due to be held last December.
The meeting is the latest in a series of steps taken by Ankara and east-based Libya politicians to improve ties.
Last month, a high-level parliamentary delegation headed by the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Fawzi Al-Nuiri, visited Ankara.
The delegation included figures close to Haftar. They met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, and leading Turkish MPs.
Following the visit, the two sides announced the formation of a friendship committee and the reopening of their respective air and sea spaces.
Libya has experienced a decade of unrest since the 2011 uprising that overthrew and killed dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Myriad armed groups, foreign forces and mercenaries have been vying for power.