Libyan Foreign Minister Ends Landmark Visit to Russia
Libya's Foreign Minister Abdul Rahman Shalgham left Moscow Tuesday after a two-day trip, which paved the way for a future state visit to Tripoli by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Putin received the first Libyan foreign minister to visit Russia and accepted an invitation from Leader Moamer Kadhafi to visit Libya.
Shalgham also delivered suggestions from Kadhafi on bilateral relations and an analysis of regional problems, deputy Kremlin administration chief Sergei Prikhodko said.
Putin called on the United Nations Security Council to definitively lift sanctions against Libya and said he would also continue to press for an end to sanctions and air raids against Iraq.
During the meeting, Putin and Shalgham also decided to establish an economic and trade cooperation commission, which is expected to meet in Tripoli in September, ITAR-TASS reported.
After the talks, Shalgham expressed his admiration for the new Kremlin boss saying his youth and energy could "give a new direction to Russian foreign policy and a new balance to world forces."
A statement issued by the Russian foreign ministry early Tuesday said the two men saw eye-to-eye on a range of issues including ways to construct a multipolar world order that would be free of double standards and Cold War-era stereotypes.
During talks with Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, the two sides reaffirmed their commitment to resolving the Iraqi issue by political and diplomatic means based on international law and non-interference in sovereign states, the statement said.
The ministers also stressed the need for decisive efforts to be taken against terrorism, extremism and separatism.
Shalgham said the current political climate was "the best time for restoring strong relations with Russia," the statement said.
"Russia is a strong and large country, and no one can ignore its role in world politics," he was quoted as saying.
"Libya plays an important role in the Middle East, the Mediterranean and Africa, so it is natural for us to coordinate our positions."
The countries pledged to develop bilateral relations in the fields of trade, economics and military technology, Ivanov was quoted as saying by the state news agency ITAR-TASS.
Shalgham broached the subject of military cooperation with Deputy Premier Ilya Klebanov, who oversees Russia's mammoth military-industrial complex.
Libya expressed its priorities as being the modernization of equipment, notably air defense systems and armored personnel carriers, Klebanov said – MOSCOW (AFP)
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