Russia calls on both Libyan sides to lay down arms
Laaska News May 18,201
Russia does not intend to be a mediator in the Libyan conflict, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after his talks with representatives of Gaddafi’s government in Moscow on Tuesday.
At these talks, the Libyan delegation was headed by Muhammad Ahmad ash-Shafir, Secretary General of the “Islamic Call” organization, who came to Moscow as a representative of Gaddafi. The Russian side called on the Libyan officials to strictly adhere to the resolutions of the UN’s Security Council. Russians also asked Libyans to back their statements about agreeing with the “road map”, which has been suggested by the African Union, with concrete deeds – namely, to withdraw government troops from rebelling cities. Besides, Russia insists that both the Libyan government and the opposition must help the UN deliver humanitarian aid to Libya. The supplies of the humanitarian aid must be controlled by foreign supervisors whose candidatures suit both Libyan warring sides.
“The answer that we heard from Libyans was, after all, not a strict “no”, the Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said.
“Gaddafi’s representatives confirmed that they are ready to adhere to the UN resolution # 1973. They also don’t reject to view the steps suggested by the “road map”. However, they said that the rebels must also adhere to the UN resolution and that NATO must stop the bombings. As for Russia, it fully supports the activities of UN’s ambassador to Libya Mr. Abdelilah Khatib, who is trying to convince the both warring sides to lay down arms. If both sides really lay down arms, there will be no reason for NATO to bomb Libya any more. After all, as Russia has stressed more than once, these bombings contradict with the aims which are outlined in UN’s resolutions.”
The main thing now, the Russian Foreign Minister believes, is to outline the terms for starting a peace dialogue between two Libyan warring sides. After settling peace, the sides must get down to talks about the future of Libya. The future of Libya is still rather vague, but there can hardly be any doubts that after this war, Libya won’t be the same state any more.
Meanwhile, NATO has announced that it will continue to press on the Gaddafi regime with military force, until Gaddafi stops suppressing the opposition.
“Such NATO’s actions totally contradict with the UN’s resolutions ## 1970 and 1973,” Russian Foreign Ministry’s ombudsman Konstantin Dolgov said in an interview to the Voice of Russia.
“NATO’s airstrikes on Libya are leading to nothing but more casualties among civilians and ruining the country’s infrastructure,” he said. “The damage that NATO is causing to Libya is several times bigger that the damage caused by the fights between the Libyan government and the opposition.”
“NATO’s bombings only worsen the situation,” the Russian ombudsman continues. “More refuges flee from Libya. Russia’s position is that everybody – Gaddafi’s government, the opposition and the Western coalition – must immediately stop any armed actions. This is the only way to stop the bloodshed. On Tuesday, we said this to representatives of Gaddafi’s government. We are going to say the same to the Libyan opposition as soon as possible.”