Moscow urges against bloodshed in Libya

Amid an offensive to take the capital Tripoli from the UN-backed government, Moscow on Friday urged against more bloodshed in the country, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.

Speaking to reporters in Moscow, Peskov also encouraged continued peace efforts.

Commenting on reports that Russia supports commander Khalifa Haftar, who is trying to take the capital, Peskov said Russia is “in no way” taking part in events in the north African country.

“We are closely monitoring the situation in Libya. Of course, we believe that the main thing is that no action should lead to the resumption of bloodshed,” he said.

“We also consider it necessary to continue all possible efforts to fully resolve the situation by peaceful, political means.”

In a separate statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry said top Russian and Libyan diplomats had a phone conversation on Thursday.

Mikhail Bogdanov, the deputy foreign minister, stressed the necessity of “building dialogue” between the parties, the statement said.

Haftar on Thursday launched a campaign to capture Tripoli, where Libya’s UN-backed unity government is headquartered.

Libya has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when a bloody NATO-backed uprising led to the ouster and death of President Muammar Gaddafi after four decades in power.

Since then, the country’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of power: one in the eastern city of Al-Bayda, to which Haftar is linked, and another in Tripoli.

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