Russia to reopen Libya embassy, Lavrov says

Security situation in country means Moscow's envoy to Libya will initially be based in Tunisia

In this photo provided by Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, greets Libya's parliament speaker Aguila Saleh prior to their talks in Moscow, Russia, Friday, July 3, 2020. Russia's top diplomat met Friday with the speaker of the parliament based in eastern Libya to discuss a political settlement for the conflict-stricken country. (Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service via AP)
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Russia has said that it will reopen its embassy in Libya.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, confirmed the move on Friday after receiving Speaker of the east-based Libyan Parliament, Aguila Saleh, in Moscow.

Because of the security situation in Libya, the Russian mission will initially be based in Tunisia.

“We took a decision to reopen the Russian embassy in Libya, which will at this stage be headed by Charge d’Affaires Jamshed Boltaev,” Mr Lavrov said.

“He will temporarily be based in Tunisia but I want to emphasise that his functions include representing Russia across all Libya’s territory.

"Russia has proceeded from the assumption that the Libyan conflict has no military solution, and only the Libyans themselves could settle their differences by political means."

Libya was plunged into chaos after a Nato-backed uprising that toppled longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011.

The country has been split between a government in the east, allied with Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army,  and another in Tripoli, in the west.