Libya: Russia wants meetings with factions in Moscow, Grozny

Italian ambassador, Haftar's threats won't stop Italian mission

04 August, 11:01

    General Khalifa Haftar arrivs to attend a meeting with prime minister Al Sarraj in France General Khalifa Haftar arrivs to attend a meeting with prime minister Al Sarraj in France

    MOSCOW - Russia would like to organize talks between Libyan factions in Moscow or in the Chechen capital Grozny, Lev Dengov, the head of the Russian contact group on intra-Libyan settlement, told newspaper Kommersant.

    ''There are such plans'', Dengov said, adding that the Russians are ''working in active negotiations with the Libyans'' and that ''a certain number of Libyan delegations have visited Moscow and have said they are available to visit again Moscow or Grozny''.

    Gen- Khalifa Haftar's alleged statements that he has ordered his forces to bomb Italian ships deployed in an imminent mission to provide naval support to Libya will not stop Italy's mission, the Italian ambassador to Tripoli, Giuseppe Perrone, told newspaper Corriere della Sera.

    Haftar's reported words, the diplomat said, ''will not stop the Italian mission, which has already been agreed with the legitimate Libyan authorities under the Presidential Council, based on their request''.

    ''We are interested in operating in agreement with all the Libyans if possible, and obviously with General Haftar.

    Therefore we will look for a contact with him as well, and we will make sure to explain the objectives of a mission that is not military but of assistance to Libyan authorities so that they can exercise their sovereignty across the entire territory of the country. We are explaining this to all authorities. It is a mission that is aimed at strengthening Libyan sovereignty, not at weakening it''.

    ''Ours is an overall strategy'', said Perrone. ''One part (is) with the Libyan coast guard. We also work in the South with the border guard and with neighboring countries. The objective is for human trafficking not to enter Libya itself. We operate with mayors in the South and the coast because there are alternatives to this trafficking economy. It is also important to improve the condition of hosting camps in Libya''.

    Speaking about relations with France the diplomat said: ''We work to reach shared objectives: stability and national reconciliation''.

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