Russia urges 'national dialogue' at Libya PM meeting

2017-03-02 22:28


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Moscow - Russia's foreign minister on Thursday pushed an "inclusive national dialogue" in Libya at talks with its UN-backed premier that came after his key rival sought to boost ties with Moscow.

"We are convinced that only the Libyan people themselves can overcome the current crisis, all the parties in Libya through an inclusive national dialogue aimed at reconciliation," Russia's Sergei Lavrov told Fayez al-Sarraj at the start of the meeting.

Lavrov described Moscow as an "old friend" of Libya and insisted it would "strongly advocate the need to create conditions for the Libyans themselves to resolve their problems".

Sarraj's Moscow trip comes as Libya remains in chaos, six years after the ouster and killing of longtime dictator Moammar Gddafi in the midst of a NATO-backed armed uprising.

Sarraj's fragile Government of National Accord (GNA), formed under a United Nations-backed deal signed in late 2015, has struggled to impose its authority, particularly in eastern Libya where a rival administration holds sway.

Military strongman Khalifa Haftar is aligned with the rival administration and commands the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army which is battling jihadists and controls key oil export terminals.

Haftar has sought to bolster ties with the Kremlin to seek support for an end to a UN arms embargo, visiting Moscow in November and going onboard a Russian aircraft off the Libyan coast in January.

Last month dozens of Haftar's fighters were flown to Russia for medical treatment in a sign of warming ties.

Analysts believe Russia, emboldened by its military success in Syria, is seeking a foothold in oil-rich Libya with support for Haftar.

On February 14 Russia tried to mediate a meeting between Sarraj and Haftar in Cairo, but the talks fell through.

Sarraj's visit also comes after Russian oil giant Rosneft and Libya's National Oil Corporation last week signed a deal to explore possible cooperation in various fields, including exploration and production.

Read more on:    moammar gaddafi  |  russia  |  libya  |  north africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.