Libya’s eastern forces urge Russia to “save the country”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) welcomes commander in the Libyan National Army (LNA) General Khalifa Haftar (L) during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, 14 August 2017. EPA/SERGEI ILNITSKY

The spokesman for the Libyan eastern self-styled army led by Khalifa Haftar told Sputnik on Wednesday that Russia is needed for intervention in the Libyan crisis as it is a tough ally. 

Ahmed Al-Mismari said that Libya and Russia have strong relations and the Libyan people like that as they need a tough ally to stand with them, adding that for a long time, Russia has contributed to arming the Libyan armed forces.

Al-Mismari said Libya has always been on good military relations with Russia as most of Libyan officers and top military ranks were trained in Moscow.

He also hailed Russia’s assistance in providing unhindered medical care to injured fighters of “the Libyan National army” saying about 30 injured fighters were sent directly to Moscow for treatment.

Al-Mismari also said that Libya and Russia have a massive military and arms contract signed between 2008 and 2009 and is awaiting reactivations, but yet hindered due to the United Nations ban on arms exports to Libya.

“The contact is very vital for Libya’s army and it is worth 4.4 billion dollars. Russia expressed desire to reinstate it but the UN embargo on arms exports to Libya stands in the middle.” Al-Mismari added.

Libyan eastern officials, including the commander of the self-styled army Khalifa Haftar and the Speaker of the house of Representatives Aquila Saleh visited Moscow more than once and met with top officials, including from the defense ministry.

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