Russia urges talks to end Libya standoff

24th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said there were still two powers in Libya despite the success of rebels against the forces of Moamer Kadhafi, and called for talks to resolve the situation.

"Despite the successes of the rebels, Kadhafi and his supporters still have a certain influence and military potential. We want them to sit down at the negotiating table and reach agreements on future peace," he said.

Medvedev said that Moscow would consider establishing full diplomatic relations with the rebels "if they have the energy and possibilities to unite the country for a new democratic beginning."

Speaking in the Siberian city of Ulan-Ude, he said that the situation in the country remained "what it was before... in essence, there are two powers in the country."

Medvedev said that Moscow wanted Libya to remain an integral, sovereign state that "retains friendly relations with other countries".

"Russia has a careful position and we are watching how events develop," he added.

Russia backed the UN resolution that opened the way for Western military air strikes against Kadhafi targets but then expressed fury with the duration of the campaign and accused the West of taking sides in a civil war.

However Medvedev also repeatedly backed Western calls for Kadhafi to quit power.

© 2011 AFP

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