By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 30 June 2017:
The interim Beida-based government’s continuing efforts to court Russia yesterday saw its foreign minister, Mohamed Al-Dayri, in Moscow for talks with deputy Russian foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov.
While there has been no statement about the visit from Beida, the Russian foreign ministry says the main focus was on the need to launch as soon as possible “an inclusive intra-Libyan dialogue involving all main political forces, tribal groups and regions of the country”.
The Russians added they would try to help make this happen .
There was no mention of arms supplies or military training for the Libyan National Army, although hopes were expressed of “restoring effective bilateral ties in traditional areas of cooperation” as and when Libya finally normalises.
Prior to the revolution, the main area of cooperation with Russia was sales of arms and military training.
It is not yet clear if Dayri’s visit is in place of one by interim prime minister Abdullah Al-Thinni or in preparation for one.
Earlier this month Bogdanov was reported by Russian news agency Sputnik saying that he would be meeting Thinni in Moscow for talks. Some days later he then met one of Thinni’s top advisers, Mahmoud Abubahia, in what was described at the time as a preparatory meeting for Thinni’s visit. This, it was said, would happen immediately after Eid.
Unlike western countries which now shun the Beida administration, recognising the Presidency Council’s government of national accord as the sole legitimate Libyan government, Russia refuses to do so on the basis that it has not been approved so far by the House of Representatives. It does, however, recognise the Presidency Council on the basis that it was approved by the Security Council. As a result, it is happy to speak to both sides of the divide, something the Europeans and Americans find themselves unable to do.