Turkey and the UK are in agreement on a diplomatic solution in Libya, Turkey’s foreign minister said Wednesday.

Mevlut Cavusoglu, who is paying a one-day working visit to London, said Turkey thinks the only solution in Libya conflict is a political one, adding: “We need to give pace to this political process under the roof of the UN.”

The conditions of the legitimate Sarraj government in Libya must be met for a ceasefire in Libya and it needs to be a permanent ceasefire, Cavusoglu noted.

His remarks came after a meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Downing Street.

Turkish foreign minister earlier met his counterpart Dominic Raab.

Cavusoglu said during the meeting with Raab and Johnson they spoke on relations in the post-pandemic era, bilateral post-Brexit free trade agreement, cooperation in tourism, health tourism, and defense industries, as well as other international and regional issues, including Libya, Syria, and NATO.

Turkish foreign minister said he also met Jeffrey Donaldson, the chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Turkey in the UK Parliament, and Wendy Morton, the minister for European Neighborhood and the Americas.

He stressed that Turkey and the UK would be in cooperation in many fields after Brexit, adding “even if the UK departs from the EU, it will continue to be one of the most important parts of the European continent.”

Cavusoglu also said that along with the bilateral trade agreement, they also took up the future of a visa scheme agreement for Turkish businesspeople – also known as the Ankara Agreement – to prevent possible effects of Brexit on Turkish citizens.

The top Turkish diplomat added that he paid a courtesy visit to Johnson and reiterated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s invitation to Turkey.

He also announced Turkey will open a consulate in Manchester to provide quality service to the Turkish citizens.

Turkish, Italian defense chiefs hold ‘constructive’ talks

Turkey’s defense minister said on Tuesday that he had “constructive” talks with the visiting Italian counterpart in the capital Ankara.

“We had a rather sincere, constructive meeting with the [Italian] minister. We exchanged views on our countries, NATO, and region,” Hulusi Akar told reporters after meeting Lorenzo Guerini.

Akar said they also discussed Libya, Syria and the Eastern Mediterranean.

"We believe that the effective cooperation between the two countries in all areas, especially in the field of defense and security, both in civil and military sectors, will provide very important benefits not only for our countries but also for the whole region,” he said.

The Turkish official also said that the cooperation would be beneficial for NATO, the two countries and the EU.

"We are also pleased to observe that we share common and similar views on many issues," Akar expressed.

Akar and Guerini chaired talks between delegations following a one-on-one meeting. 

 

‘Positive, friendly meeting’

Italy’s defense chief, for his part, said that it was a “very positive and friendly meeting.”

"We shared our vision and knowledge. We did this within the framework of the friendship between Turkey and Italy. It is deep-rooted and cemented,” Guerini said.

“Especially on Libya, we once again agreed that we should produce a political solution for Libya to meet peace,” he underlined.

The officials discussed the two countries’ visions and responsibilities to be taken regarding the Eastern Mediterranean, he added.

"For a stabilized Mediterranean, we need to work together and we all have to shoulder responsibility," Guerini said.

Guerini's visit to Turkey came shortly after Akar and Turkish Chief of General Staff General Yasar Guler returned from an official visit to Libya last week.

Last November, Turkey and Libya signed landmark pacts on military cooperation, as well as maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean Sea.

Under the deal, Turkey sent advisers to help Libyan forces defeat renegade general Khalifa Haftar's militias.