MOSCOW, April 6. /TASS/. Russian Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa Mikhail Bogdanov held phone talks with Commander of the Libyan National Army Khalifa Haftar on Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.
"Haftar shared information on the Libyan National Army’s operations in recent days, which were said to be pursuing a goal of boosting the fight against terrorist and extremist groups operating in different parts of the country, including in the capital of Tripoli, which pose a threat to stability of Libya’s society and hinder the implementation of agreements on the establishment of a sustainable intra-Libyan inclusive political process and a consensus dialogue, with the aim to set up unified efficient government bodies," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
"The Russian side reaffirmed its principal position in support of political solutions to all disputable issues in Libyan society and mediatory steps taken by the United Nations and its Special Envoy for Libya Ghassan Salame. In addition, [they] underscored the need to consolidate efforts in the fight against terrorism and extremist ideology," the ministry added.
The phone call was requested by the Libyan side.
Libya has two supreme executive authorities, namely Tripoli’s world-recognized government of National Accord headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and the interim government headed by Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani, which operates in the country’s east along with the elected parliament and is supported by the Libyan National Army.
On April 4, Haftar announced the launch of an offensive on Tripoli. On Saturday, the Libyan National Army was reported to have approached Tripoli at a distance of ten kilometers from the city center. Meanwhile, Fayez al-Sarraj ordered all military units subordinate to him to be on alert and to use force if necessary "to defend the civilian population and critical facilities.".