Welcome to the Reuters.com BETA. Read our Editor's note on how we're helping professionals make smart decisions.
Skip to main content

Middle East

Merkel tells Turkey's Erdogan withdrawal of troops from Libya would be 'important signal'

2 minute read

German Chancellor Angela Merkel sits down to attend a virtual event with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (not pictured) marking Liberation Day, the end of the occupation by Nazi Germany during World War Two, at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany May 5, 2021. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse/Pool

BERLIN, May 5 (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday that the withdrawal of foreign troops from Libya would be an "important signal" as both leaders vowed to support the new interim government there, a German government spokesman said.

Libya's new unity government was sworn in on March 15 from two warring administrations that had ruled eastern and western regions, completing a relatively smooth transition of power after a decade of violent chaos.

Turkey had backed the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord against the eastern-based Libyan National Army, which was supported by Russia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and France.

Merkel and Erdogan agreed in a video conference to support the interim government of Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibeh in its efforts to improve the supply situation for the population and in preparing elections by year-end, the spokesman said.

"The Chancellor emphasized that an early start of the withdrawal of foreign soldiers and mercenaries would send an important signal," the spokesman added.

Merkel and Erdogan also discussed international efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic as well as regional issues such as the civil war in Syria and international talks about the Cyprus issue, the spokesman said.

"The Chancellor and the Turkish President emphasized that adequate access for humanitarian aid to the people in need in Syria must be maintained," the spokesman said.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Hugh Lawson

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

More from Reuters