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Russia and Turkey push for ceasefire in Libya

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By Daniel Bellamy  with AP
Russia and Turkey push for ceasefire in Libya
Copyright  AP

Italy’s premier Giuseppe Conte and the U.N. recognized Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj met in Rome on Saturday as diplomatic efforts to resolve Libya's conflict stepped up.

Last week Conte met with the renegade Libyan General Khalifa Haftar. His soldiers have been trying to capture Tripoli from the government since April in a bloody ground offensive.

And in Moscow on Saturday Russian president Vladimir Putin met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

She gave her backing to a joint effort by Russia and Turkey to establish a ceasefire in Libya by Wednesday, announcing that the ceasefire talks would be held in Berlin.

Meanwhile European Council President Charles Michel travelled to Istanbul for talks with Turkey's president Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkey has sent troops to Libya, saying it is trying to support the UN recognised government.

But Russia backs Khalifa Haftar - as does Egypt, Jordan and the UAE according to the UN - and Moscow has allowed hundreds of mercenaries to operate in Libya.

In the latest military development, forces loyal to Haftar captured parts of the strategic coastal city of Sirte last week from the U.N. recognised government in Tripoli.