Libya Crisis: Unification of the Country Is the Main Goal
Valdai Discussion Club Conference Hall (Bolshaya Tatarskaya 42, Moscow, Russia

The Libya crisis can only be resolved through dialogue inside the country. This opinion was voiced by Ahmed Maiteeq, Vice Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya and Deputy Prime Minister of Libya, at a meeting with media representatives, which took place on September 15 at the Valdai Club Conference hall.

The meeting was focused on the domestic political and economic situation in Libya, the role of Russia and other external actors in the process of political settlement of the conflict, as well as the struggle against the ISIS (banned in Russia) in the territory of that country.

Since 2011, Libya has suffered from instability and violence. Ahmed Maiteeq noted that the unification of various parts of Libya and the institutions of the country is the main goal of the government and citizens. At the same time, stability and improvement of the economic situation play a key role in this process.

"For several years, we have observed stability in Libya. Economic indicators are improving. Now we can invest in infrastructure," the Deputy Prime Minister said.

The result of stability, for example, is that the National Oil Corporation of Libya has already signed long-term contracts with foreign companies. These companies represent different countries, from China to the US, including Russia.

According to Ahmed Maiteeq, more than 65 thousand people have returned to Tripoli.

Answering the question about the role of external actors in the settlement of the Libyan crisis, Ahmed Maiteeq noted that the solution must come from the Libyans themselves through dialogue inside the country. Conflict is not a solution.

"The key political players in Libya came to the conclusion, that only dialogue will solve the problem, and not conflict," he said.

At the same time, Deputy Prime Minister believes, that neighboring countries can offer their assistance and do much to resolve the situation. In particular, Russia's position can help unite the Libyans.

"We believe that Russia can do much to resolve the conflict. That's why we came to Moscow," Ahmed Maiteeq said.

He also stressed the key role of the UN, under the auspices of which the international community should work on Libya.

Russia shows activity in the Libyan issue and the desire to find a solution with the involvement of the international community. The EU countries are also interested, especially because of the need to reduce the influx of refugees from the Mediterranean.

The position of Russia with reference to the statements of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was voiced by Lev Dengov, head of Russia's Contact Group for Intra-Libyan Settlement, who also took part in the meeting with journalists. As he said, Russia communicates with all parties of the conflict in Libya, works on their reconciliation.

"Russia's approach is equipollent to all parties," Lev Dengov quoted Mikhail Bogdanov, Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Another problem facing Libya is the need to combat terrorism. According to Ahmed Maiteeq, the only enemy of the Libyans is ISIS.

"Counterterrorism forces are working in the west and central parts of Libya in order to prevent the return of terrorists to the country," he said.

Thus, the main task before Libya is to create stability and ensure security, which are necessary to hold elections.