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Turkish official says Russia delegation visit postponed over situation in Sirte

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

ANKARA – A visit by top Russian officials to Turkey was postponed due to plans by the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) to attack Sirte, a Turkish official said on Monday.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu were scheduled to hold talks with their Turkish counterparts in Ankara on Sunday. However, the Russian side put off the meeting at the last minute without disclosing any reasons.

“A result was supposed to come out [of the meetings], but that stage could not be reached. There are issues where the two countries are on opposing sides,” a Turkish official told Reuters.

“One of the main issues for the postponement of the Lavrov visit is the [GNA’s] plan for an operation into Sirte…which has emerged as a target.”

The Kremlin did not comment on the postponement. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday it was unrelated to any issues on “core principles”.

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