(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi with Russian President Vladimir Putin
Ahmed Maiteeq, Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA), called on Russia to help Libya in the fight against terrorism on Monday.
“We have historically strong ties, the majority of Libya’s officers have studied in Russia. That’s why we always call for Russia’s role in the struggle against terrorism in Libya and the creation of strong army,” Maiteeq said to Sputnik.
Maiteeq also stated that the unity government’s Presidential Council (PC) welcomed all international help in Libya’s battle against terrorism.
Last week, the PC announced the establishment of a new military operation room to oversee the campaign against ISIS, with its goal being to unite Libya’s various armed forces and launch a joint effort against the extremist group, who have set up a stronghold in Sirte.
In a meeting between Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi which was held on Saturday in Cairo, Sisi stated that Egypt supported the GNA’s Presidential Council and called for the UN arms embargo on Libya to be lifted so that the Libyan Army is properly equipped to take on the terrorist threat.
Likewise, Sarraj repeated Sisi’s call to end Libya’s arms embargo at the Arab league meeting in Cairo the following day, stating that “it doesn’t make sense that the international community supports our war against terrorism, and forbids us from arming ourselves.”
Moreover, Reuters reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin and President El-Sisi discussed the situation in Libya and Syria during a telephone call on Tuesday.
Like Egypt, Russia has also stressed the importance of implementing the Libyan Political Agreement so that the Libyan government is able to effectively run the country.
On Thursday Martin Kobler, the head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov in Moscow where the two delegates “confirmed the importance of consolidating the Libyan political forces with the aim of the establishment of security and law and order in the country, including the organization of effective counteraction to terrorist groups,” reported TASS Russian News Agency.