Published on: Nov 13, 2018 @ 13:33 – Russia will not take sides in the conflict in Libya as it is interested in maintaining the country’s territorial integrity, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko said on Tuesday.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will attend the Palermo Conference to address the conflict in Libya. The meeting will be held on today.
“We do not take sides in the intra-Libyan conflict. Guided by the interest in preserving the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Libya, we maintain balanced contacts with all major political-military forces in the country,” Prikhodko said.
“We believe there is no alternative to the negotiation process. All sides in Libya must continue the dialogue for compromise, based on the Skhirat Agreement, the only basis for reaching long-term treaties as stated in Security Council resolution 2434 of the UN “added the deputy chief of staff of the Russian government
The civil war in Libya has been dragging since 2011 when NATO-backed jihadists murdered longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi. There are two rival governments fighting for control of the country. While eastern Libyan regions are governed by a parliament based in the city of Tobruk, a National Accord government, formed with the support of the UN and Europe, operates in the west of the country, including in the capital Tripoli.
Last month Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said that the short-sighted policy of the West has turned Libya into a terrorist stronghold and is now a concern.
“The greatest danger represents the terrorist groups operating on the African continent, many of which support the positions of radical Islamism,” warned the deputy minister.
“Due to the extremely short-sighted policy of Western countries, Libya has become a terrorist stronghold. The situation is exacerbated by the return to Africa of militants who fought in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan,” said Bogdanov during the Africa Forum summit International “Dialogue of Civilizations”.
FRN draws attention to the gulf existing between words and their practical meanings. What is at stake in Libya now are forces acting towards the territorial integrity of the question, and forces working towards its division into several smaller states.
Therefore, when Russia officially says it is ‘not taking sides, only supports territorial integrity’ of the country, they are engaging in ‘double-speak’. To support the territorial integrity of the country in any meaningful sense, means to support those forces acting towards maintaining the territorial integrity of the country i.e., to take a side.