Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni reportedly sought assistance from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in halting the flow of migrants and refugees from Libya during her visit to Turkey on Saturday.

 The discussion in the pro-government Turkish media provides limited information about the meeting, reports from Meloni’s side highlight her specific emphasis on Turkey leveraging its influence over Libya to address the issue of African migrants and smugglers entering Italy. Turkey’s proximity to Italy is strengthened by the fact that unlike Greece, Italy does not oppose Turkey’s operations in Libya.

In Ankara circles, there are claims that President Erdogan suggested to the Italian prime minister, in conjunction with Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid al-Dbeibeh, the possibility of jointly signing a trilateral agreement. This proposal is believed to involve cooperation on issues related to migration and security in the Mediterranean region.

Turkey’s close ties to the Libyan government are accompanied by a growing military presence in the country. Last month, a presidential motion proposing a 24-month extension of the Turkish military’s mission in Libya was approved by the Turkish parliament.

Underlining the importance of the Turkish navy’s presence in the region, President Erdogan stated that the government’s objective is to ensure national security against potential threats, including mass migration and terrorism, through the approved motion.

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