Libya welcomes any Russian efforts in peace talks

Libya will support any Russian assistance in the peaceful mediation of the crisis in the country, Libyan Foreign Minister Abdul Ati al-Obeidi said on Wednesday.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and al-Obeidi are holding talks in Moscow on the current situation in Libya, as well as the African Union and UN mediation efforts.

“Libya will welcome any Russian role in the peaceful settlement of the Libyan conflict,” al-Obeidi said. “We proposed finding a solution equally acceptable for all Libyans, including the opposition in Benghazi.”

Al-Obeidi also said Libya supported the African Union’s idea on a ceasefire and starting talks between the opposing sides.

Libyan diplomat said he had not discussed with his Russian colleague Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s future and his possible resignation because these talks are “not a place for discussions on this [particular] issue.”

Libya has been rocked by fighting between pro- and anti-government forces since mid-February. An international military operation began on March 19 following a UN resolution and has been extended until September.

UN Security Council Resolution 1970, passed in February, prohibited states from providing any kind of arms to Libya. Resolution 1973, passed a month later, authorized countries “to take all necessary measures” to help protect Libyan civilians.

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