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UN Special Envoy for Libya Receives Lavrov Invitation to Visit Russia

© AFP 2023 / Abdullah Doma / A Libyan man waves a national flag
A Libyan man waves a national flag - Sputnik International
MUNICH (Sputnik) - UN Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Ghassan Salame told Sputnik on Saturday he had received the invitation from Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to visit Moscow.

"The Russian foreign minister invited me to Moscow. I hope to respond to his invitation [and to visit Russia] soon", Salame said, adding that he had received the invitation during a meeting with Lavrov on the margins of the Munich Security Conference.

Commenting on the situation of the son of late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Hannibal, who currently is a Lebanese prison, the envoy said the UN mission in Libya was making every effort in terms of humanitarian assistance.

"As for the humanitarian aspect, we are doing everything in our power. Two weeks ago we asked the sanctions committee of the UN Security Council to allow Gaddafi's daughter to visit her ill mother in Cairo, the humanitarian aspect is important to us, but we do not interfere in the issues related to Lebanese or Libyan justice", Salame pointed out.

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A portrait of Muammar Gaddafi burning in a fire. - Sputnik International
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Hannibal Gaddafi has been kept in a Lebanese jail since 2015 in connection with the disappearance of Lebanese Shia imam Musa Sadr in Libya, which has never been fully investigated. Sadr and his companions departed for Tripoli in 1978 at the invitation of the late Libyan leader, and their whereabouts have been unknown ever since. A number of theories reportedly exist around the circumstances of his disappearance, none of which have been proven. The Shiite community in Lebanon accuses late leader Muammar Gaddafi of abducting the cleric.

Last week, Hannibal Gaddafi told Sputnik in an interview — conducted through Gaddafi's representative, Reem El Debri — that he was grateful to Russia for its efforts aimed at securing his release.

"We are counting on Russia's big role as a great state in such cases of arbitrariness. I am grateful [to Russia] for the efforts being taken for my release", Hannibal Gaddafi said.

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In late January, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told Sputnik that Russian diplomats had contacted Lebanese politicians about the situation around Hannibal. According to the deputy foreign minister, Hannibal Gaddafi's kidnappers have already been tried for their actions, but his trial had not yet started.

The chairman of the Tobruk-based Libyan House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh, also told Sputnik in late January that Lebanon was acting unlawfully by keeping Hannibal Gaddafi in custody without bringing him to trial since he had not been proven guilty and must not bear the responsibility for somebody else’s crimes.

Libya has been plagued by chaos, instability and Islamic fundamentalist terror groups since longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and murdered in 2011 by rebel forces backed by the United Kingdom, France and the United States.

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