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Kremlin opposes foreign interference in Libya’s affairs, welcomes effort to resolve crisis

Libya has turned into a shelter for mercenaries and terrorists, according to the Kremlin spokesperson

MOSCOW, December 26. /TASS/. Foreign interference won’t help resolve the situation in Libya but efforts to facilitate the search for a solution are welcome, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

"As for the situation in Libya, it definitely causes much concern, and we, too, are concerned. We have repeatedly reiterated that Russia is interested in finding a peaceful solution to the Libyan crisis as soon as possible in order to end the bloodshed," the Kremlin spokesman pointed out.

When commenting on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s plans to send troops to Libya, Peskov said: "We believe that foreign interference will hardly help settle the situation but any activities to facilitate efforts to resolve the conflict and help the parties to find a solution are always welcome. Russia can only welcome international efforts," he emphasized.

In response to a question if the Kremlin had any information about the presence of Russian mercenaries in Libya, Peskov noted that "in fact, Libya has turned into a shelter for mercenaries from a number of countries, as well as for terrorists." "All this is the result of the well-known actions of some well-known countries, which were aimed at destroying Libya’s statehood," the Kremlin spokesman emphasized. According to Peskov, "citizens of different countries act as mercenaries in various parts of the world" and it is impossible for a country to control the movement of all its citizens. He noted that a lot of people from Russia and other European countries, including France, were being kept in Kurdish-controlled jails in Syria.

Erdogan announced earlier on Thursday that a legislation for deploying troops to Libya would be presented to the Turkish parliament in January. He vowed, however, that Ankara would not send troops to Libya without Tripoli’s request.

Libya crisis

There currently are two governments in Libya: the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) headed by Fayez al-Sarraj, which is headquartered in the country’s capital of Tripoli, and Abdullah al-Thani’s cabinet based in the country’s east, which has the support of the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

On December 12, Haftar announced the launch of a crucial offensive aimed at taking control of the country’s capital. The LNA has repeatedly stated that it would oppose any foreign interference in Libya’s domestic affairs and threatened to sink ships and shoot down cargo aircraft carrying military aid from Turkey.