Russia is “seeking” the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt for successful talks on the Libyan crisis, Foreign Minster Sergey Lavrov said on Monday during a press conference with his Emirati counterpart.
Libya has had no stable central authority since Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown by NATO-backed rebels in 2011. The country has been split since 2014 between rival administrations in its east and west.
The Egyptian initiative calls for negotiations in Geneva and the exit of all “foreign mercenaries” from Libya. The plan has garnered support from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Russia, Jordan and Bahrain.
“We must return to the causes of the crisis in Libya,” Lavrov said. Meanwhile, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan stated that Libya faced “great challenges.”
“Extremist groups dominate the Libyan political scene,” the minister said during the press conference held in Moscow.
The Emirati official went on to say that tackling extremism and hatred in the region was an urgent issue. “We do not want the region to be crowded with weapons of mass destruction,” he said. Touching on the newly signed deal with Tel Aviv, the Russian minister said that “peace agreements between Israel and Arab countries must be used to achieve peace.”
He called for the resumption of direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, stating that Russia supported a two-state solution.