Russia and Algeria Reject Military Solution to Libyan Crisis

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On Wednesday, Algeria and Russia confirmed their shared vision to solve the Libyan crisis through a political solution, rejecting foreign military intervention. They both stressed their adherence to the outputs of the Berlin Conference and the role of neighboring countries.

In a press conference in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Algerian Foreign Minister Sabri Bogadoum denied the existence of a Russian-Algerian roadmap to settle the Libyan crisis.

They stressed that the two countries were committed to implementing the Berlin outputs, which were approved by the Security Council and “define the appropriate steps for a settlement. We believe that the outputs are still required and appropriate”.

He also stressed that Russia and Algeria agreed on the importance of resolving all crises by peaceful means. “Our commitment to the United Nations Charter, respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity of states, and non-interference in their internal affairs,” he said.

Lavrov noted that their vision for resolving crises in the MENA region “depends on persuading the warring parties, encouraging them to enter dialogue, find a compromise, and a balance of interests”, referring to the Syrian, Libyan conflicts, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the crisis in the Sahel region.

He confirmed that Moscow remains in contact with all the Libyan parties and active neighboring countries including Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia. Lavrov stressed the need to stop all hostilities before launching political dialogue, saying that the ultimate goal is to move “to restore Libyan sovereignty, territorial integrity, and its institutional entity”.

Lavrov accused NATO of “eradicating the sovereignty and institutions of Libya as a result of the risk it undertook in 2011 (intervening to support a rebellion against former leader Muammar Gaddafi), in violation of all Security Council resolutions”.

Lavrov also accused external parties that he did not name of “betting on a party to this conflict and ignoring attempts by the African Union to resolve this crisis”, in an implicit reference to Turkey, according to observers.

He reiterated his denial of Moscow being a party to the conflict, or supporting any specific side, claiming that Russia is betting on all Libyan parties to launch the political process. He expressed Moscow’s hope that the three neighboring countries, namely Algeria, Egypt, and Tunisia will play a role in launching the political process in Libya.

Algerian Foreign Minister Sabri Bogadoum confirmed that his views are identical to Russia’s. He rejected a military solution to the Libyan crisis and called for dialogue between the Libyan parties.

Algeria and Russia recorded “satisfaction with the conformity of opinions, especially the crisis in Libya, and agreed to reject a military solution to the Libyan crisis,” Bogadoum said, stressing the need to respect the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Libya.

“Taking the political track to solve the Libyan crisis has become irreplaceable.” he said, calling for “a mandatory ceasefire at the earliest, and a reduction of the current military escalation in all regions of Libya. This is to start political action within the framework of international legitimacy, and respect for the Libyan people, and the outputs of the Berlin Conference”.

Bogadoum denied that Algeria’s diplomatic moves to resolve the Libyan crisis are “contradictory” to the outputs of the Berlin Conference. He emphasized that its initiatives in recent years were in line with neighboring countries Egypt and Tunisia. They have now expanded to other countries to find a peaceful solution to the crisis.

Bogadoum and Lavrov also revealed the expansion of the strategic partnership agreement signed between the two countries in 2001 to include intensifying coordination to solve the Libyan crisis and increase cooperation in the economic, commercial, cultural and humanitarian fields.