All Libyan factions should attend the National Conference in Libya to pave the way for the elections, head of the UN Mission Support in Libya (UNSMIL) Ghassan Salame and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday.
On the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference held 15-17 February, Salame met with Arab and international figures to discuss the possible solutions for settling the Libyan crisis.
Moscow, an ally of late President Muammer Gaddafi, has extended its reach across the Middle East and North Africa, becoming a central player in the resource-rich country.
Russia says it supports international mediation efforts. On 7 November 2018, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu met with head of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar in Moscow.
Haftar, however, is at odds with Prime Minister of the UN-backed Government of National Accord Faiez Sarraj. Their disagreements led to the continuous delay of long-awaited elections, despite the 2018 Paris and Palermo conferences that were meant to result in Libyan consensus.
Hence, Salame declared that a national conference should be convened to bring together Libyan factions and pave the way for elections that everyone would abide by the results thereof.
No date has been set for the National Conference thus far, but the African Union scheduled a third international conference on Libya for July in Addis Ababa.