Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday told an ally of Libya’s eastern commander Gen. Khalifa Haftar that he must accept an immediate ceasefire and political talks on uniting the two battling rivals – Haftar’s LNA and the UN-recoqnized GNA.
Lavrov conveyed that message through Aguila Saleh Issa, speaker of the Libyan House of Representatives, in a phone call, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The House based in Benghazi is aligned with Gen. Haftar in his offensive for wresting Tripoli from GNA control with Russian support. Moscow’s call for a ceasefire and unity talks follows the Haftar army’s defeats at the hands of Turkish-backed GNA forces. The US accused Russia of deploying fighter aircraft in Libya amid concerns about a new escalation. Read DEBKAfile’s Special Report