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Russia's UN envoy calls situation in Libya "almost catastrophic"

April 08, 9:00 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS
Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations stressed the terrorist threat coming from the Islamic State terrorist group (outlawed in Russia)
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© EPA/MOHAMMED DAW AMER

UNITED NATIONS, April 8 /TASS/. The situation in Libya remains almost catastrophic despite the arrival of the Presidential Council in Tripoli and the fact that the interim Government of National Accord had been formed, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin told journalists on Thursday.

"It’s good that certain progress has been made but of course the situation remains almost catastrophic," the Russian diplomat said after the UN Security Council meeting held behind the closed doors. According to him, the United Nations Security Council should focus its efforts on rallying the fragmented political forces in the country.

Asked if Libya could gain access to the frozen assets of the regime of the former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi that was overthrown in 2011, Churkin said the conditions were not yet ripe for that step because the government forces were still not strong enough. Churkin believes that the new authorities in Libya should gradually work towards unifying the country and creating efficient bodies of power.

"It is particularly important in the light of the terrorist threat coming from the Islamic State [the IS terrorist group is banned in Russia]," Russia’s ambassador to UN said. He added that the world community would be able to help Libya only if the country had a strong central government.

Earlier, British Permanent Representative to UN Matthew Rycroft said it was necessary to prevent the Government of National Accord from collapsing while French diplomat Francois Delattre urged the UN Security Council to join ranks to support the tentative progress in putting an end to chaos in Libya.

Plans to form the Government of National Accord led by businessman Fayez al-Sarraj were announced in the Moroccan city of Skhirat on February 14. The creation of the government and the formation of the Presidential Council for the period of transition (which is supposed to end with parliamentary elections) are envisaged by the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA), which was signed in Skhirat, Morocco, on December 17, 2015 and were later endorsed by the United Nations Security Council.

On March 30, several Presidential Council members and the cabinet of ministers arrived at a naval base in Tripoli. The unrecognized Islamist government, which is in control of the Libyan capital, was categorically against that move. It called the new cabinet illegitimate.

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