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Diplomat says Russia interested in early resolution of Libyan crisis

February 27, 2017, 13:18 UTC+3 MOSCOW

"Preserving Libya’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is our priority," Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said

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MOSCOW, February 27. /TASS/. Russia is interested in an early solution of the Libyan crisis, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Monday at the Sixth Conference of the Valdai Discussion Forum’s Middle East Dialogue.

"We would like Libya to end the protracted crisis as soon as possible and once again become a prosperous state with strong state institutions, a capable army and law enforcement agencies, and also restore its status as an important regional player," he said. "Preserving Libya’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is our priority. Thus, Russia welcomed the political agreement signed in Morocco’s Skhirat in December 2015, which outlined the national reconciliation principles, and supported the UN Security Council Resolution 2269 enshrining the agreement’s provisions."

"Over a year has passed since then but the situation has not yet changed for the better," the Russian diplomat went on to say. "The presidential council and the Government of National Accord, established in compliance with the Skhirat agreement, have failed to start effective activities. At the same time, the Tobruk-based parliament has been refusing to recognize the government saying that it does not represent all political forces."

"Confrontation between Tripoli and Tobruk has created a vacuum of power. Against this backdrop, the IS (Islamic State terror group, outlawed in Russia) and al-Qaeda are still active in several areas of Libya," the Russian diplomat added.

"It is necessary to continue cooperation with both centers of power in Tripoli and Tobruk, encouraging them to overcome their controversies and search for mutually acceptable decisions concerning national reconciliation," Bodganov stressed. "We will emphasize the need to build a meaningful dialogue while meeting with Fayez al-Sarraj, Prime Minister of the Libyan Government of National Accord, who is scheduled to visit Russia in the coming days."

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