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Russian ambassador says Russia might take part in int’l anti-terrorist coalition in Libya

February 19, 2015, 6:53 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS
"From the political point of view, I would not rule out this. But this is not my decision," Russia’s United Nations ambassador Vitaly Churkin said
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UNITED NATIONS, February 19. /TASS/. Russia’s United Nations ambassador Vitaly Churkin said on Wednesday he did not rule out Russia might take part in an international anti-terrorist coalition in Libya, in particular in securing a naval blockade of Libyan territorial waters so as to prevent the delivery or weapons to the Islamic radicals.

"From the political point of view, I would not rule out this. But this is not my decision," he told TASS after the Security Council meeting. "If Russia could take part in the operation by Somalia’s coast, why can’t it take part in an operation in the Mediterranean?" He drew attention to the fact that air strikes at Islamic State terrorists in Libya had been delivered by Egypt,which with Russia had traditionally friendly relations.

He said Russia did not take part in the United States-led anti-terrorist coalition in Syria, since that operation had not been authorized by the United Nations Security Council and was held without Damascus’ consent. "You know, the Americans and their coalitions, regrettably, decided to act bypassing the Security Council and the Syrian government. These two factors make it impossible for us to join their coalition," the Russian diplomat underscored.

But as a matter of fact, in his words, Russia helped Iraq and Syria more profoundly than "some other countries." "It helped them to fight against terrorists. For instance, we supplied weapons to the Iraqi government while the United States were deciding what to do only ‘on paper,’" the Russian diplomat said.

Libya’s Foreign Minister, Mohammed al-Deiri said on Wednesday at a session of the UN Security Council that his country needed military assistance on the part of the international community to fight with Isis and other terrorist grouping that are operating on its territory. He said the international community was to reaffirm its commitments to the people of Libya in what concerned restructuring of the national Armed Forces.

In the first place, it was important to provide the Libyan army with weaponry so that it could put up resistance to the terrorist threat, Al-Deiri said. This objective definitely required a lifting of the embargo on delivery of arms to the Libyan government.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told the Security Council that the latter should authorize a naval blockade of Libyan territorial waters so as to prevent the delivery or weapons to the Islamic radicals acting in the country by sea.

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