ULAN UDE, August 24 (Itar-Tass) — Russia wants Muammar al-Gaddafi to resign, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said.
“Russia calls for ceasing fire in Libya and starting talks with the involvement of all political forces of this country,” Medvedev told journalists on Wednesday.
“Despite rebels’ successes, al-Gaddafi and his supporters maintain certain influence and retain a military potential.” “We’d like them to end this as soon as possible,” Medvedev said.
“We’d like them to resume talks and come to an agreement on peace,” he added.
“Russia takes an accurate position on Libya. We watch the development of events,” the Russian president stressed.
The dramatic events in Libya prove that power will be handed over to rebels soon, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported earlier.
According to the latest reports, armed resistance between the Muammar Al Gaddafi’s regime and the opposition entered a decisive phase. Street clashes started to take control over the country’s capital – Tripoli.
Libyan rebels say they seized and withheld key government facilities and the infrastructure. Al Gaddafi’s sons have been arrested. Civilian casualties continue to rise from both parties.
“The Russian Foreign Ministry maintains close permanent contacts with Russian Embassy in Tripoli. The Russian Embassy works by observing security measures. The staff of the embassy is sound and safe and has all survival equipment,” the ministry said.
“The dramatic events in Libya prove that power may be handed over to rebels very soon. We hope that this will put an end to the protracted Libyan bloodshed, which caused harm to the population of the country and damaged the national economy,” the ministry said.
“We are convinced that the termination of military actions should be followed by starting a political process – to form legal bodies of power and coordinate the basis and principles of the future democratic development for the benefit of citizens with the observance of independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Libya,” the ministry said.
“One of the lessons of the Libyan conflict is that members of the world community should show restraint and responsibility for the events in the country in strict compliance with the spirit and the letter of the U.N. Charter and corresponding U.N. Security Council resolutions,” the ministry said.
“In the context of the events in Libya we call on all states to comply with U.N. Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973, to give up interference into internal affairs of Libya, to make contribution to the civilian population and to restore legitimacy in the country,” the ministry added.
“Russia has been committed to such position since the beginning of the conflict. Friendship, mutual sympathies and years-long mutually advantageous cooperation unite Russia and the Libyan people. Due to our principled position we will act further by providing assistance to the country. However, we are the right to hope that Libya will take all measures to ensure security of the Russian Embassy in Tripoli and Russian citizens staying in Libya,” the ministry said.
Federation Council Foreign Relations Committee chairman Mikhail Margelov said opposition unity is indispensable for the political settlement in Libya.
The Russian presidential special envoy for Africa said Tripoli’s seizure by rebels “does not mean the settlement of the crisis in Libya”. “Revolutions’ experience tells us it is more difficult to retain the power than to seize it,” he said.
“The crisis in Libya is political. Therefore, it is impossible to settle it by only military means: the military success does not mean the political success,” Margelov said. “Today’s task is to hold non-easy, multilateral talks between all segments of the Libyan elite – Al Gaddafi’s former supporters, rebels themselves, representatives of the royal family and all emigre Libyan groups,” the Russian envoy said.
He made several trips to the region, including to Libya.
In addition, Margelov said the success of the talks was conditioned by unity in the Libyan opposition. “The world community needs a democratic and predictable Libya. Thus, different opposition forces in Libya should unite in order to ensure peace in the region,” he stressed.
“The geostrategic role of Libya in the Mediterranean region, the country’s mineral resources and its special relationship with European countries impose responsibility on winners,” he pointed out. “During my visit to Benghazi, the opposition said it sought to maintain friendly and business-like relationship with Russia,” Margelov recalled.
Libyan rebels raced into Tripoli on Sunday and met little resistance as Muammar Al Gaddafi’s defenders melted away and his 42-year rule rapidly crumbled.
Margelov also said, “Moscow insists on ceasefire in Jamahiriya and a transition to political methods of settlement”.
At the same time, he admitted, “The situation in Libya remains acute, and there has been little progress in starting a dialogue between the warring factions”.
So, Margelov expects “difficult talks in Tripoli” but hopes that “they will clarify whether there are any, at least minimal, resources for a peaceable settlement”.
According to Margelov, the parties to the conflict “should start talking about national reconciliation”.
“Wars in the East do not end quickly. The more blood is spilled, the more reasons for blood feud. Confrontation only increases losses from the export of hydrocarbons and leads to devastation of infrastructure that is hard to rebuilt,” he said.
Margelov noted that he had begun his mediating efforts in Benghazi and continued them in Cairo during consultations with Gaddafi’s cousin Ahmed Gaddafi al-Dam, who represents a considerable part of the Libyan political elite.
These meetings convinced him that “both sides are well aware that the current situation in Libya cannot be resolved by force, and that they should talk about the revival of the country”.
He confirmed Moscow’s stance that “only Libyans themselves can find a way out of this crisis, as no foreign recipes can help”.