Russia supports UN efforts for Libyan settlement — Lavrov

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov


© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, April 6. /TASS/. Russia supports UN efforts to normalize the situation in Libya through elections and a constitutional reform, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Egypt’s Al Ahram newspaper published on Saturday.

“We support the effort of the UN special envoy for Libya, Ghassan Salame, to put into practice his roadmap for normalizing the situation in Libya through free and fair general elections and a constitutional reform,” he said.

“We hope that the pan-Libyan conference in Ghadames, to be convened by the [UN] special envoy in mid-April, would help to achieve some progress toward implementing the goals [of Libyan settlement],” Lavrov said.

Libyan tensions

Situation in Libya escalated during the visit of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Currently, the country has two governments: Tripoli’s Government of National Accord, led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and recognized by the international community, and the interim Cabinet of Abdullah Al-Thani, who is acting in the country’s east together with the elected parliament and supported by the Libyan National Army of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

On Thursday, Haftar announced the launch of an offensive on Tripoli to retake the capital from terrorists and armed groups. The army is advancing to the capital now and, as some media reported, has already approached the city’s outskirts. Meanwhile, al-Sarraj ordered all military units subordinate to him to be on alert and to use force if necessary “to defend the civilian population and critical facilities.”

In the meantime, the Al-Hadath television channel said that at a meeting with Antonio Guterres in Benghazi on Friday, Haftar notified the UN Secretary General that he would not negotiate with terrorists but would liberate Libya’s capital from them. According to the sources cited by the TV channel, Guterres asked Haftar to abide by generally recognized rules for military operations and by the international laws.

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