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Russian FM Lavrov to visit Libya Dec. 23-24

MOSCOW, December 19 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will visit Libya on December 23-24, the ministry said Wednesday.

Lavrov will hold talks with his Libyan counterpart, Abd al-Rahman Muhammad Shalgham, to discuss regional and international issues.

Outlining Russia's attitude to some of the issues, Mikhail Kamynin, the country's foreign ministry spokesman, said Russia was ready to contribute to the implementation of Libya's right to civilian nuclear power.

"We are ready to assist Libya in the implementation of its inalienable right to the benefits of civilian atomic energy."

He said the two countries had to "focus on promising oil cooperation" adding Russia's companies Gazprom and Tatneft have launched the development of oil fields in Libya.

He also said Russia welcomed Libya's non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council in 2008-2009 adding his country was ready to cooperate with Libya "based on common approaches to most international issues."

Kamynin said the Middle East would be on the agenda and added Russia and Libya were against "new violence in the region".

He said Iraq was also set to be discussed, "Together we call for maintaining territorial integrity in the country, full reconstruction of the sovereign rights of the Iraqi people, and nationwide reconciliation in Iraq."

Africa will also be on the agenda, "African issues, including the Darfur crisis, will be given proper attention."

He also said new challenges and threats will be discussed focusing on world community efforts to counter terrorism.

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