US President Donald Trump on Friday spoke to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the phone, regarding Libya and other regional issues, according to White House.
In a telephonic conversation, President Trump told Erdogan that “foreign interference is complicating the situation” in the war-torn country, the White House released a statement, said.
The two leaders agreed on the need for de-escalation in Idlib, Syria, in order to protect civilians, the statement further added.
Earlier in the day, Turkish Parliament approved a motion authorizing a one-year deployment of its troops in Libya, despite the warning from some opposition parties that it will endanger Turkish soldiers’ lives and add fuel to the proxy war in the North African nation.
Last year, in November, President Erdogan had met with his US counterpart at the White House.
The development came only a month after President Trump, wrote him a letter, that called him a “fool” over Turkey’s military offensive in Syria.
The tensions between the US and Turkey escalated after Ankara launched a military offensive in northeast Syria against Washington-backed Kurdish forces, who are fighting against the terror group Islamic State.
Washington is also angered over Ankara’s purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defence system. The US has halted the delivery of support equipment and supplies to Turkey for F-35 jet fighter jets. It has also threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey over the Russian defence purchase.
Libya has been locked in a civil war that escalated in 2014, splitting power between two rival governments: the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) based in the capital Tripoli and another in the northeastern city of Tobruk which is allied with the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Khalifa Haftar.
Turkey, along with its ally Qatar, backs the GNA led by Fayez al-Sarraj, while their rivals, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, support the LNA.
The Turkish President recently signalled that he had second thoughts about the planned visit due to measures that the US legislative adopted against Ankara.
Trump had also announced to authorise sanctions against Turkish officials, raise steel tariffs and end negotiations on a USD 100 billion trade deal.
Since his announcement last December to pull out all troops from Syria, Trump has softened plans and agreed to keep a residual force in the northeastern part of the country. As part of that plan, Washington wants to continue working with SDF fighters in the region to press on Islamic State, a move Ankara dislikes.