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Erdogan says two Turkish soldiers killed in Libya

Turkish president also notes that Syrian fighters are working alongside Turkish personnel in Tripoli
After Haftar's forces made rapid advances, they have stalled on the outskirts of the Libyan capital (AFP)

Turkey has said that two of its soldiers have been killed in Libya, where Ankara is supporting the internationally recognised government against forces loyal to eastern commander Khalifa Haftar.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey suffered "two losses" in Libya, without elaborating. He also confirmed that Turkey-backed Syrian rebels were operating there.

"Those going from Syria, from the Syrian National Army, they have a common goal. They are there within the framework of these common goals," Erdogan said.

"Our brothers who are with us in Syria see being there with us as an honour."

Libyans in south Tripoli find themselves on the frontline of Haftar's war
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Turkey sent troops to Libya last month after signing a military cooperation deal with the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).

The GNA requested military assistance from Ankara after struggling to fend off a months-long offensive by forces loyal to Haftar.

Haftar's forces have reached the outskirts of Tripoli after receiving aerial support from the UAE and Egypt, and fighters and mercenaries from Sudan and Russia.

According to UN figures, the assault on the capital has claimed more than 1,000 lives and displaced at least 140,000.

The North African country, a large oil producer, has been wracked by violence since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising left longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi dead.

Since then, the country has since been awash with rival groups and militias, and divided among two rival administrations: the UN-recognised GNA in Tripoli and the House of Representatives based in the eastern city of Tobruk.

Talks will start tomorrow as planned

Also on Tuesday, the UN's Libya mission and world powers urged the country's warring parties to engage in peace efforts, as doubts hung over talks set to start the next day in Geneva.

The negotiations are supposed to gather delegates from the GNA and House of Representatives.

Both sides said on Monday that they would not take part in the negotiations in Switzerland, citing different reasons.

The eastern-based parliament said the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) had not approved all of its representatives.

Libya's warring sides pull out of UN-led Geneva peace talks
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Meanwhile the High State Council, the equivalent of a senate which backs the unity government, said it would not participate in the talks until progress was made in military negotiations.

But UNSMIL spokesman Jean Alam insisted on Tuesday that the "Libyan Political Dialogue will start tomorrow as planned".

The UN's Geneva spokesman Rheal Leblanc also confirmed the talks would take place Wednesday.

Political sources in Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi told the AFP news agency that UN officials were working to salvage the talks and persuade both sides to take part.

Five western powers and the European Union also voiced support for the talks.

"The embassies of France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States (as well as the EU mission) welcome the considerable progress in the UN-facilitated talks in Geneva toward a lasting ceasefire in Libya," they said in a joint statement.

"We call on all parties to reject obstructionism and engage in good faith as Libya moves forward with its democratic transition."

A map of the Libya conflict.