Russian army officials visit Libya after Haftar invite

AFP , Tuesday 22 Aug 2023

Russian military officials including Moscow's deputy defence minister arrived in Libya on Tuesday after receiving an invite from pro-Moscow military General Khalifa Haftar.

Yunus-bek Yevkurov
Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yunus-bek Yevkurov (left) arriving in Benghazi, Libya, Aug. 22, 2023. Photo courtesy of Russian Defense Ministry


"This is the first official visit of a Russian military delegation to Libya," Moscow's defence ministry said.

It said the visit, led by Deputy Defence Minister Yunus-bek Yevkurov, was organised after talks with Libya at the Army-2023 expo and Moscow Conference on International Security earlier this month.

"During the visit, it is planned to discuss prospects for cooperation in combating international terrorism and other issues of joint action," it added.

Troops of Russia's private Wagner mercenary group guard military and oil infrastructure in the country.

The meeting came amid renewed focus on Russia's activities in Africa, after Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin announced in a video published Monday that his group was making the continent "freer".

Wagner maintains a strong military presence in Africa, where it has partnered with several nations, including Mali and the Central African Republic.

* This story was edited by Ahram Online

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