Eastern Libyan army commander signs arms deal with Russia despite UN embargo

  • Libyan Express |
  • Monday 16 January 2017

The commander of Operation Dignity forces, Khalifa Haftar, who leads the forces of the Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR), signed a deal with the Russian government that would see $2 billion dollars worth arms coming to his self-proclaimed army, an HoR member, Ismaeil Al-Ghoul, revealed to the London-based Al-Arab newspaper.

Al-Ghoul told Al-Arab on Monday that the visit of Haftar to the Russian aircraft carrier off Tobruk port saw the two parties signing a deal that would allow Haftar to reactivate the contracts of the former Libyan army of Muamar Gaddafi with Russia.

“Abdullah Al-Thinni-led government of the HoR has tried many times to reactivate the contracts with Russia, it is the right of the Libyan army to have them back from Russia.” He added.

Al-Ghoul told the UK-based Al-Arab that this new deal signed with Russia would be so useful to pave the way for lifting the UN embargo on exporting weapons to Libya’s army, which he said is fighting terrorists across the country.

“Such a deal between the Libyan Army and Russia is a good loophole in the legal body of the UN embargo on Libya as it envisions an upcoming collapse of the resolution as Russia’s step would be so vital in that regard.” The HoR member indicated.

According to the Al-Arab newspaper, the deal that Haftar stroke with Russia onboard the aircraft carrier earlier last week is a continuation of the 2008 stopped contracts between Libya and Russia.

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