Russian-Libyan talks begin in Moscow
18:13 20/07/2011 MOSCOW, July 20 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov began talks on Wednesday with his Libyan counterpart Abdul Ati al-Obeidi in Moscow.
The sides are expected to discuss the current situation in Libya, as well as the African Union and UN mediation efforts.
The Russian-Libyan talks come after Lavrov's recent statement that Moscow recognized the Transitional National Council of Libya (TNC) as a negotiating partner, but not as the only legitimate representative of the Libyan people.
His comments follow Friday's declaration by the Libya Contact Group that Muammar Gaddafi's regime had lost its legitimacy and recognition of the TNC as "the legitimate governing authority in Libya" until the establishment of an interim authority.
Libya has been rocked by fighting between pro- and anti-government forces since mid-February. An international military operation began on March 19 following a UN resolution and has been extended until September.
UN Security Council Resolution 1970, passed in February, prohibited states from providing any kind of arms to Libya. Resolution 1973, passed a month later, authorized countries "to take all necessary measures" to help protect Libyan civilians.
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