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    Libyan troops loyal to Gen. Khalifa Haftar. (File)

    Kremlin Unable to Confirm Receiving Libyan Request for Arms, Military Support

    © AFP 2019 / ABDULLAH DOMA
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    The Kremlin is unable to confirm reports of Libya's request for the supply of weapons and military equipment to eastern Libyan forces in the fight against Daesh terrorist group, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — A Russian diplomatic source told the Izvestia daily earlier in the day that Gen. Khalifa Haftar, who leads forces loyal to the Tobruk-based Council of Deputies, has called on Moscow to ends its arms embargo and begin military supplies.

    "I can neither confirm, nor deny it. I do not know through which channels [the request] could have been transmitted," Peskov told reporters.

    Peskov said the Kremlin saw media reports on the issue, but maintained that he has no information because Haftar's appeal had not been forwarded through official channels.

    Haftar has reportedly addressed the request to both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu via his special representative Abdel Basset Badri, who also serves as Libya's ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Badri visited Moscow on Tuesday, meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, the newspaper's source said.

    Russia joined the UN Security Council arms embargo on Libya in 2011, when the country was gripped by an uprising against longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi, who was overthrown the same year after several months of civil war. The country was later contested by two rival governments, the internationally-recognized Council of Deputies and the Tripoli-based General National Congress.


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