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Lavrov and Libya's top diplomat to discuss crisis settlement

The parties will also talk about trade and economic ties

MOSCOW, December 12. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will hold talks on Tuesday with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Libya in the Government of National Accord Mohamed Taher Siala. The main topic of the meeting will be the prospects for an intra-Libyan settlement, especially in the light of amending the Skhirat political agreement of December 17, 2015.

The document on resolving the crisis, signed by representatives of the main Libyan factions, stipulates creation of the Government of National Accord and the formation of the Presidential Council for the transition period, which should end with parliamentary elections. In October 2017, the UN Security Council approved a revision of this agreement: the amendments, in particular, concern organization of a conference with participation of key political forces and representatives of civil society, renewal of the constitution and preparation for parliamentary and presidential elections.

Moscow believes that the updated Skhirat agreement, together with the UN Plan of Action, should form the basis for efforts to address other pressing tasks on Libya's agenda, which include establishing order on the defense sphere, rehabilitating the Libyan economy and rectifying the difficult humanitarian situation. Other problems include illegal migration, cross-border crime, arms smuggling, drug trafficking.

Russian Foreign Ministry works with all the sides in Libya and does not take sides in the conflict. "Our principled position is that the Libyan people themselves must decide the fate of the country," the Ministry said. Lavrov said earlier, Russia is always guided by the need to involve all significant parties in the dialogue with regard to the Libyan crisis.

At the talks in Moscow, the parties will also talk about trade and economic ties. The Foreign Ministry supports the desire of Russian companies to return to the Libyan market, to develop mutually beneficial development projects, including the fields of energy, industrial and transport infrastructure, as the situation in Libya normalizes and if the necessary security conditions are provided for economic operators from Russia.