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Libya’s Transitional National Council officials to visit Moscow this week

September 05, 2011, 19:38 UTC+3

Earlier, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirmed that contacts between Russia and the Transitional National Council would continue

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MOSCOW, September 5 (Itar-Tass) —— Libya’s Transitional National Council officials responsible for economic ties will visit Moscow this week, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said.

“We expect them to come within a week,” he said at a meeting of the Russian-Arab Business Council on Monday, September 5.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirmed that contacts between Russia and the Transitional National Council would continue.

“TNC representatives have visited Moscow before. We received them at their request. Now we confirm out willingness to further maintain contacts with them on the level that is needed for discussing the problems they wish to discuss,” Lavrov said.

According to the minister, the Libyan TNC expressed interest in sending to Moscow the officials who are in charge of economic relations.

“We confirmed our willingness to hold such a meeting on the date that will suit both parties. Contacts are being maintained, and they will be continued,” Lavrov said.

Russia is ready for dialogue with the Libya opposition if it can consolidate the country on a democratic basis, President Dmitry Medvedev said earlier.

“If the rebels have enough strength and heart and possibilities to consolidate the country on a new democratic basis, we will naturally consider the possibility of establishing relations with them,” the president said.

“For the time being the situation is what it was before: basically, there is dual power in the country and despite the rebels’ success and offence on Tripoli. Gaddafi and his supporters retain certain influence and combat capability,” he said, adding, “I do not know what will happen next.”

“We would like that this ends as soon as possible and they sit down at the negotiating table and reach an agreement on the future of Libya,” he said.

“We would like the Libyans to come to agreement among themselves. Libya is a very complex state, and there are many different tribes and clans there, and the fact that Gaddafi maintained a certain balance allowed the state to develop as one whole,” Medvedev said.

He stressed the importance of compliance with international law. “Russia believes that U.N. Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973 must be strictly observed. Only if they are implemented can peace come to Libya,” he said.

“We would like Libya to remain an undivided sovereign and independent state that will develop friendly relations with other countries,” Medvedev said.

“Russia occupies a careful position with regard to Libya and we are watching the situation in that country,” he said.

Russia has never been an onlooker in Libya and will continue its active policy, Federation Council Committee on International Relations Chairman Mikhail Margelov said earlier.

“We have never been an onlooker. We have most actively interacted with both Tripoli and Benghazi from the very start and tried to create a system of links between Tripoli and Benghazi and foster a Libyan-Libyan dialogue,” Margelov told Russia Today television.

According to Margelov, a new government in Libya should make sure that all oil revenues “work not for the regime but for the country”.

“It is very important for Russia that the first thing I heard from the leaders of the Transitional National Council in Benghazi was their assurances that all the contracts that were signed by the previous regime with Russia in the fields of energy, hydrocarbon production, infrastructure, construction of railway lines, and military-technical cooperation would be honoured and implemented,” Margelov said.

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