Russian official: Haftar and Tripoli government requested arming by Moscow; Haftar denies

  • Libyan Express |
  • Tuesday 20 February 2018

Lev Dengov – Head of Russian Contact Group on Libya (Left) and Khalifa Haftar – Commander of self-styled army in eastern Libya (Right)

The Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Libyan self-proclaimed army headed by Khalifa Haftar asked Russia for military support but Moscow’s position is balanced, the Head of the Russian Contact Group for intra-Libyan settlement Lev Dengov said.
 
“The Libyan sides always come to us and ask for military support, ask us about arms, Khalifa Khaftar always asks us about strengthening military training. We speak openly about any cooperation with all sides, including with the Government of National Accord, which also made requests for military help. Today, thanks to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the minister and the president we have equal distance to all,” head of the Russian Contact Group for intra-Libyan settlement Lev Dengov said at the Valdai Discussion Club’s Middle East Conference in Moscow.
 
Libya’s National Accord Government and Khalifa Haftar, as head of Libyan National Army, expect Russia to help on the defense industry, though Moscow position on the matter is well-balanced, according to Lev Dengov, reported Sputnik.
 
“We need to intensify the interaction of external factors and to identify, after all, who is currently hindering agreements in Libya, that is roughly the same as internal and external players who at the moment when the Libyans are approaching some results, constantly prevent the conclusion of a final agreement. We see attempts of the outside interference, they incite and intensify the conflict in Libya,” said Head of Russian Contact Group.
 
Meanwhile, claims of the Russian official were met with complete denial on the side of Haftar’s forces.
 
The spokesman for Haftar’s self-styled army, Ahmed Al-Mismari told the press on Monday that they have never asked Russia to set up a military base in Libya, adding that such claims are an utter falsehood.
 
So the give and take continues and the last to join was former political adviser to Haftar, Mohammed Buisier, who said on his Facebook page that there are certain parties who are pushing for building a military presence on the ground in eastern Libya to back up Haftar’s forces.
 
“If Russia set up a military base in Libya, then the country would go into a complete chaos and will collapse in no time.” Buisier added.
 
Azara Media

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