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    General Khalifa Haftar (C), commander in the Libyan National Army (LNA), leaves after a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, Russia, November 29, 2016.

    Libyan National Army to Require Russian Assistance When UN Arms Embargo Lifted

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    Libyan National Army General Khalifa Haftar spoke in an interview to Sputnik about the Libyan National Army cooperation with Russia.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Libyan army would require assistance from Russian experts should a United Nations arms embargo be lifted in the future, Libyan National Army General Khalifa Haftar told Sputnik.

    "Many of our military experts studied in Russia. But in the future, when an arms embargo will be lifted and the deliveries of advanced weapons begin, we will need Russian weapons experts for military training," Haftar said.The UN Security Council introduced international sanctions against Libya in 2011, including an embargo on an arms trade with Libya.

    He also added that Libya will not request arms deliveries from Russia in violation of a United Nations embargo.

    "Russia is adhering to the arms embargo," Haftar, who arrived in Moscow for an official visit on Sunday, said. "We do not want to disturb our Russian friends concerning the Libyan crisis."

    Besides, he, thinks that the Russian companies could take part in restoring infrastructure and developing oil deposits.

    "Russia has corporations working in various fields. They could contribute to the restoration of infrastructure, investment, development of oil fields. All this will help the Libyan economy and strengthen ties between the countries," he added.

    Haftar said he observed during his visit how "our Russian friends are closely monitoring the victories of the Libyan army over terrorism, and are interested in stabilizing the situation in the country".

    On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held a meeting with Libyan National Army General Khalifa Haftar, who arrived in Moscow for an official visit on Sunday. The meeting mainly focused on the development of the military-political situation in Libya.

    Following the meeting, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement, saying that Moscow is ready to contribute to the promotion of political process to settle the Libyan crisis.

    Libya has been in a state of turmoil since 2011, when a civil war began in the country and Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown. In December 2015, Libya’s rival governments — the Council of Deputies based in Tobruk and the Tripoli-based General National Congress — agreed to create the GNA, to form the Presidency Council and to end the political impasse.

    The first meeting of the GNA cabinet took place on January 2, 2016 in Tunisia.


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