Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called the vacancy of the UN special envoy to Libya since March an "unacceptable situation" and stressed the need to appoint a special envoy for the international organization in order to reach a political settlement, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on its website.
Lavrov's statement came during a joint press conference held Tuesday with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Sochi, in response to a question about Russia and Ankara's assessment of the Libyan National Army's (LNA) General Command's call for a "guarantor" and "deterrent force" to strengthen and adhere to the ceasefire, and whether the two countries have an idea of a coordination and cooperation mechanism to establish a ceasefire and promote a peaceful course in Libya.
Time to reduce the number of "foreign guarantors" for Libyan parties
"Each side in the Libyan conflict has so many guarantors that it is time to talk about reducing their number," Lavrov replied, warning that "the situation is very serious," since "recently there have been some incidents in the south in violation of the ceasefire agreements," referring to the movement of LNA troops and the implementation of a security operation in Ubari.
Lavrov added that "since then, the situation has stabilized in general. Basically, the terms of the summer ceasefire are respected. We need to facilitate this and do our best to strengthen the agreements, including by supporting the Joint Military Commission."
"The fundamental commitment on the issue of oil export revenues is also useful and needs to be implemented in a way that makes all Libyan parties feel involved in exporting national wealth," the Russian Foreign Minister said, stressing the importance of "moving the political process forward after NATO's illegal aggression destroyed the Libyan state in 2011."
The coordinating role of the United Nations
"Numerous attempts have been made to promote one or another settlement option. As a result, all important external actors agreed on the need to ensure the coordinating role of the United Nations. We are actively working to strengthen this position."
Lavrov stated that" since the beginning of the crisis, Russia has maintained contacts with all Libyan parties without exception "because in Moscow" they are convinced that only by uniting them at the negotiating table can the balance of interests of all players be sought, including the Government of National Accord, the parliament in Tobruk, representatives of the Gaddafi regime and the Libyan National Army."
The role of Russia and Turkey
Lavrov also stressed that "Russia and Turkey will contribute in every possible way", because "more than once on this difficult path, the two countries have played a positive and constructive role, including in January this year, when on a joint initiative, several important meetings were held with the participation of the Libyan conflicting parties. As a result, it was possible to create conditions for such an important event as the Berlin conference with the participation of Representatives from Tripoli, Tobruk and Benghazi," considering that "the outcome of the conference became the basis for the appropriate decision by the UN Security Council."
"Russia and Turkey are committed to going down this path, to intensify this work," calling the UN envoy post vacancy "an unacceptable situation." "We have contacted the secretary-general directly, and I reiterate this call now: it is necessary to appoint a UN special envoy to reach a settlement in Libya. We'll wait for suggestions from Antonio Guterres".