Russia Welcomes New Libyan Government

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On Wednesday, Russia welcomed the Libyan Parliament’s vote of confidence to the new government led by, Fathi Bashagha. It stressed that it is ready to cooperate, and move forward with a comprehensive political settlement in Libya.

“We see the Libyan Parliament’s decision as an important step to overcome the protracted crisis in Libya” in order to reach a “national agreement through comprehensive inter-dialogue,” the Russia Foreign Ministry said.

It noted that it believes the new government will be successfully able to solve the ongoing challenges, most important of which is unifying the country’s administrative and security structures, improving the social and economic situation, and preparing for general elections.

Russia also confirmed that it was ready to cooperate, ”in the interest of advancing a comprehensive political settlement in Libya” and developing “friendly and traditional” Russia-Libya relations.

On Tuesday, the Libyan Parliament ushered in a new transitional government for the country, headed by Bashagha. 92 of the 101 lawmakers in attendance approved the decision, in a live broadcast from the city of Tobruk.

The new Libyan government includes three deputy prime ministers, 29 ministers, and six ministers of state. Two women are in the Cabinet, overseeing the Ministry of Culture and Arts, and holding the position of State Minister for Women’s Affairs.

The appointment of Bashagha last month, a former Interior Minister from the western city of Misrata, is part of a new Parliamentary roadmap. It also involves several constitutional amendments, and for elections to be held in 14 months.

The move deepened divisions among rival factions, and raised fears that fighting could return after more than a year and a half of relative calm. Opposing armed groups have been mobilising in Tripoli over recent weeks, as the country’s search for peace and a unified central government remains elusive.

The current government has previously warned that the appointment of a new interim government could lead to war and chaos in the country. It renewed its pledge to only hand power over to an elected government.