Libya Prompts Russia for Military Defense Cooperation - Russian Contact Group
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Both the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Libyan National Army headed by Khalifa Haftar ask Russia for military support but Moscow's position is balanced, head of the Russian Contact Group for intra-Libyan settlement Lev Dengov said.
"The Libyan sides always come to us and ask for military support, ask us about arms, Khalifa Khaftar always asks us about strengthening military training. We speak openly about any cooperation with all sides, including with the Government of National Accord, which also made requests for military help. Today, thanks to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the minister and the president we have equal distance to all," head of the Russian Contact Group for intra-Libyan settlement Lev Dengov said at the Valdai Discussion Club's Middle East Conference in Moscow.
Libya's National Accord Government and Khalifa Haftar, as head of Libyan National Army, expect Russia to help on the defense industry, though Moscow position on the matter is well-balanced, according to Lev Dengov.
"We need to intensify the interaction of external factors and to identify, after all, who is currently hindering agreements in Libya, that is roughly the same as internal and external players who at the moment when the Libyans are approaching some results, constantly prevent the conclusion of a final agreement. We see attempts of the outside interference, they incite and intensify the conflict in Libya," said Head of Russian Contact Group.
After the overthrow and murder of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 during the armed conflict, Libya is experiencing a period of harsh crisis, which brought to a dual power in the country: in the east, in the town of Tobruk, there is the elected parliament, and in the west, in the capital of Tripoli, there is the Government of National Accord, formed with the support of the UN and the EU. The authorities in the eastern part of the country operate independently and are cooperating with the Libyan National Army, led by Marshal Khalifa Haftar, who is engaged in an extended war with the Islamists.
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