By Libya Herald reporters.
Tunis, 23 September 2017:
It was extremely encouraging that Libya’s crisis had been the subject of high-level attention at the UN General Assembly, Presidency Council (PC) chairman Faiez Serraj has told Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.
In a meeting in New York today, two men discussed UNSMIL’s new action plan. However, Serraj also stressed the importance of sticking to the terms of the July deal he made in Paris with Khalifa Hafter, which he said, included the unification of the military under a single civilian authority and the holding of parliamentary and presidential elections.
Moscow reported after today’s meeting that Lavrov said there needed to be a broad national dialogue involving Libya’s main political forces and regions with a view to overcome the protracted crisis.
Lavrov appeared to respond to the frustration of new UNMSIL chief Ghassan Salamé at the recent series of international peace initiatives which have not entirely gone through the UN. One such initiative came from Russia in liaison with France. Lavrov told Serraj that Moscow was “reaffirming its readiness to contribute to the political process in Libya under the UN aegis in contact with all interested parties”.
The PC said after the meeting that Lavrov had hoped for renewed economic relations and agreed Libyan experts would travel shortly to Moscow to discuss details.
Neither side disclosed if Lavrov had raised the issue of the two remaining crew of the Russian tanker Temeteron, Captain Vladimir Tekuchev and Chief Officer Sergey Samoilov, held since 2016 on suspicion of fuel smuggling.
The Russians raised the issue when Serraj’s deputy Ahmed Maetig was in Moscow earlier this month. They also want the return of the cargo ship Merle whose crew were released in April and May.