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Russia FM blasts NATO for ‘dishonest’ Libya campaign

Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a press conference on 11 September, 2017 [Shadi Nsoor/Anadolu Agency]
Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov on 11 September 2017 [Shadi Nsoor/Anadolu Agency]

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has described NATO as “dishonest” for its 2011 air campaign to help overthrow the Muammar Gaddafi regime in Libya.

Speaking in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Lavrov was reported as saying that the UN Security Council’s no-fly resolution imposed on the regime’s air force was “violated and crushed” by NATO, the Russian news agency Tass reported.

According to Lavrov, the Security Council had ordered all necessary measures to be taken if Gaddafi’s warplanes took off but they did not and so the air assault by NATO was not legitimate.

“Instead of this,” said Lavrov, “our counterparts from NATO deployed their air forces and bombed Qaddafi’s army, helped rebels, among whom there were a lot of terrorists and liquidated the Libyan revolution’s leader.”

Read: 6 years after the Arab Spring: Where is Libya now?

“The UN Security Council resolution was most seriously violated and crushed. This is about deal making skills of our partners who just behaved meanly and dishonestly.”

During the Arab Spring, Libyans joined the movement to oust long-time leader Gaddafi from power but were soon met with a crackdown. NATO stepped in and conducted an air campaign which helped push Gaddafi from power leading to his eventual death by opposition forces.

The country has been rocked by infighting and instability since his ouster with three governments vying for power and the presence of Daesh and other armed militant groups.

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