Erdogan, Trump discuss Libya after Moscow talks collapse

Turkish President, US counterpart discuss developments in Libya in phone call after Ankara's failure to convince Libyan commander to sign binding truce in Moscow.

ANKARA/WASHINGTON - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and US President Donald Trump discussed developments in Libya in a phone call on Wednesday after failing to convince Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar to sign a binding truce in Moscow.

The ceasefire agreement was aimed at halting Haftar’s nine-month campaign to try to conquer the Libyan capital from forces aligned with the internationally recognised government.

Russian state news agency RIA Novosti quoted a source in Haftar's stronghold Benghazi as saying he did not sign because the agreement did not spell out a timeline for disbanding groups allied with Fayez al-Sarraj's Government of National Accord (GNA).

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will host leaders of Turkey, Russia, the United States, Britain, China, France and Italy on Sunday at the summit, which follows a meeting in Moscow on Monday where Libya's warring parties failed to sign a ceasefire agreement.

Since veteran dictator Moamer Gathafi was toppled in a 2011 uprising, the North African country has been in turmoil, with outside powers providing support to rival factions.

Trump warned on January 2 his Turkish counterpart against sending troops to fight in Libya hours after the Turkish Parliament voted to authorize such a move.

"Foreign interference is complicating the situation,” Trump said.

Trump and Erdogan also discussed the situation in Syria, protests in Iran and Iran's downing of a Ukraine International Airlines flight, the White House said in a statement.