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Libya to honor UN resolution if NATO ends airstrikes - Russia

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Libya is ready to comply with UN Security Council resolutions if NATO ends its airstrikes and the rebels cease hostilities, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday.

Libya is ready to comply with UN Security Council resolutions if NATO ends its airstrikes and the rebels cease hostilities, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday.

Lavrov, who said he had met with 'Libyan representatives' in Moscow, only mentioned '[Dr. Muhammad Ahmed] al-Sharif, secretary general of the World Islamic Call Society,' said by some media reports to be a personal envoy from Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Lavrov said Russia was not assuming a mediating role between the Tripoli government and the opposition, backing instead "the intermediary efforts of the United Nations and the African Union."

"We were told that Tripoli is ready to consider approaches based on the AU's 'roadmap' and comply with the provisions of Resolution 1973," he said.

"The only condition," he said, was that "the rebels take similar steps and that NATO stops its airstrikes."

UN Security Council Resolution 1973, adopted on March 17, imposed a no-fly zone over Libya and authorized measures to protect civilians from forces loyal to Gaddafi, but stopped short of authorizing ground operations in the North African country.

Russia was one of five countries to abstain from the vote.

Russia has repeatedly criticized NATO for going beyond the bounds of the resolution and bombing "civilian facilities" in Libya, including Gaddafi's compounds in Tripoli. The alliance has denied that its airstrikes are targeting the Libyan leader, saying that his compounds are used as command centers for attacks against civilians.

MOSCOW, May 17 (RIA Novosti)

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