By Hadi Fornaji.
Tunis, 13 September 2017:
Russian efforts to help mediate a settlement in Libya are being stepped up this week with visits by Presidency Council deputy head Ahmed Maetig and Khalifa Haftar’s spokesman Ahmed Mismari.
Maetig flew today to the southern Russian autonomous state of Chechnya at the invitation of its president Ramzan Kadyrov. While in the Chechen capital Grozny he is also expected to have talks with Lev Dengov, the head of the Russian contact group on Libya before traveling to Moscow to meet with Russian deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov.
According to Russian daily Kommersant, Maetig is also going to Moscow to prepare for a visit there by Faiez Srraj, the PC head.
Kadyrov has been pursuing quasi-independent Chechen efforts to develop business and political relations with Libya, and Maetig’s visit to Grozny follows that of a mainly military delegation from Misrata in April. Last October, Kadyrov’s cousin, Russia parliament (Duma) member Adam Delimkhanov who has visited Libya on numerous occasions, was again in Tripoli at the head of a Russian parliamentary delegation for talks with Maetig.
An invitation to the deputy PC leader to visit Chechnya was extended at the time.
Prior to Maetig’s arrival in Grozny today, Kadyrov was in militant mood over Libya, telling the local press that the West, led by the US, had destroyed Libya but Russia was “making great strides to help reach a peaceful solution to intra-Libyan problems”.
Meanwhile, Khalifa Hafter’s spokesman, Colonel Ahmed Mismari was in Moscow where he also had talks with Bogdanov.