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Libyan parliament speaker arrives in Moscow for talks

Saleh began his visit by meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

CAIRO, November 24. /TASS/. Speaker of Libya’s Chamber of Representatives Aguila Saleh Issa arrived in Moscow on an official visit on Tuesday to discuss political settlement of the ongoing crisis in the country, the Libyan parliament said in a statement, posted on its website.

"Today, on Tuesday, the speaker of the Chamber of Representatives arrived in the Russian capital on an official visit on an invitation from the Russian authorities," the statement says.

According to the parliament’s official spokesman, Saleh "began his visit by meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov" to discuss "events in Libya and the region, solutions to the Libyan crisis and the role of the international community and the government of Russia in ending the crisis."

Saleh’s media advisor Fathi al-Marimi told TASS earlier on Tuesday that the official would visit Moscow to discuss, among other things, the results of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum held in Tunisia, as well as other meetings held both inside and outside the country.

"The role of Russia in political settlement of the Libyan crisis is very important," he said. "Russia is a great and influential country and from the very beginning it was working on helping Libyans enter the dialogue using direct contacts with all sides as well as by means of international forums and within the framework of bilateral relations with friendly countries."

Libya has had two parallel executive power structures for a long while now, the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) headed by Fayez al-Sarraj and the interim government operating in the country’s east together with the parliament and supported by the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Commander Khalifa Haftar. In spring 2019, Haftar attacked the capital, while the Tripoli Cabinet of Ministers officially asked Turkey for help and, thanks to Ankara’s active assistance, the GNA managed to regain control over several territories previously occupied by the LNA.

In early September, the representatives of the opposing camps for the first time in a long while began direct negotiations in Morocco’s Buznik, discussing the distribution of sovereign posts. After that, meetings were held in Cairo, Swiss Montreux on political and economic aspects, and in Hurghada, where the military and security representatives of the sides met.

On October 23, in Geneva, participants of Libya’s 5+5 Joint Military Commission (5 representatives from the GNA and the LNA formations each) signed an agreement on a permanent ceasefire, later sealing the deal during the meetings held already in Libyan territory. As a result, a relative calm along the lines of engagement and the agreements between the military paved the way for the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum under the auspices of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) held in Gammarth in the suburbs of Tunisia’s capital from November 9 to November 15.