Libya’s eastern parliament speaker arrives in Russia

Ahram Online , Thursday 2 Jul 2020

File photo of Libya’s parliament speaker Aguila Saleh Reuters

The speaker of the eastern Libyan parliament, Aguila Saleh, landed in Moscow on Thursday to discuss the recent developments in the North African state with Russian officials, Al-Arabiya Al-Hadath reported.

Fathi Al-Meremi, Saleh’s advisor, told Russia Today that the visit aims at covering economic, diplomatic and military issues related to Libya. Al-Meremi stressed that peace initiatives, including those of Egypt and the Berlin conference, are among the key topics under discussion.

Saleh will also discuss “Turkish aggression” against Libya, Al-Meremi stated, highlighting the importance of Russia’s role as a superpower and stressing the need to reach a ceasefire.

According to the same news source, the Russian side has not issued any public statements on the visit so far.

The Government of National Accord (GNA), which is based in Tripoli, is backed by Turkish troops and thousands of Syrian mercenaries in its war against the eastern-based Libyan National Army and its leader Khalifa Haftar.

Ankara, according to Reuters, is conducting talks with the GNA for a possible use of the Misrata naval base and Al-Watiya air base.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias met Saleh on Wednesday during a visit to Libya, and condemned the "Turkish intervention in the war-torn state."

According to Al-Arabiya Al-Hadath’s Twitter account, Dendias said that the departure of foreign powers, especially Turkey, from the North African country is the solution to the ongoing conflict.

Saleh said last month that the Libyan people will request the military intervention of Egypt in Libya if armed militias infiltrate the strategic city of Sirte.

“The Libyan people formally ask Egypt to intervene with military forces if needed to maintain the Libyan national security and the Egyptian national security,” said Saleh, who is allied with Haftar. “That would be legitimate self-defence if the terrorist and armed militias crossed the red line that President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi spoke about and attempted to go beyond the cities of Sirte or Jufra."  

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