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Russia 'surprised' by Haftar declaration as ruler of Libya

Libyan Army forces seen as part of "Operation Peace Storm" - Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) against the forces Khalifa Haftar in Tripoli, Libya on March 27, 2020 [Amru Salahuddien / Anadolu Agency]
Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) forces in Tripoli, Libya on 27 March 2020 [Amru Salahuddien/Anadolu Agency]

Russia is "surprised" by Libyan National Army (LNA) commander, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar's proclamation of himself as Libya's sole ruler, state news agency RIA Novosti quoted an official source in the Foreign Ministry as saying.

"This is surprising. There are decisions of the Berlin summit, and more importantly – the UN Security Council resolution 2510, which must be implemented first of all by the Libyans themselves with the assistance of the international community and the UN secretary-general," the official, who asked not to be named, said.

The Russian diplomat added that Moscow urges the parties to the conflict in Libya to resume negotiations, saying: "We call for the continuation of a comprehensive dialogue between the Libyans within the framework of the political process. There is no military solution to the conflict."

READ: Russia urges mediators to push Libyan sides to talks

On Monday, Haftar announced in a televised statement that he had "accepted a popular mandate to rule over the country".

He added that the LNA has officially withdrawn from the 2015 Skhirat agreement, which had led to the formation of the United Nations-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, adding that the LNA has taken control of the country.

The GNA condemned the move, which it called a "coup".

READ: EU calls for humanitarian truce in Libya

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