Russian ambassador in Tripoli defence talks
By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli, 12 December 2016:
Russia’s ambassador to Libya has been in Tripoli for talks on what was described as military cooperation.
Ivan Molotkov met Colonel Mahdi Al-Barghathi, the Government of National Accord’s defence minister-designate. As when the Russian diplomat met Presidency Council chairman Faiez Serraj in the capital in May, the key issue has been Moscow’s help in rehabilitating Libya’s largely Russian-made military equipment.
According to the defence ministry, Barghati today asked specifically for help in training specialists to work on weaponry. He also sought Russian support in the fight against terrorists.
His meeting with Molotkov was interesting. Russia is sticking to the letter of the Libyan Political Agreement and has said that it will not recognise the GNA until it has been approved by the House of Representatives in Tobruk. Serraj and the most of the PC have asked Barghathi and other ministers-designate carry out their roles on a caretaker basis.
The government in Tripoli is keenly aware of the links that Khalifa Hafter in the east of the country appears to have forged with Moscow, not least during his three day visit there last month. Barghathi was surely pleased today that he had in his turn been invited to the Russian capital by the ambassador.