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US urges Russia, Turkey to take diplomatic route on Libya

Washington: The United States has called on Russia and Turkey to take on diplomatic support and fight terrorism unitedly in Libya.

Russia has repeatedly refuted accusations of participation in the conflict in Libya, calling allegations about the presence of Russian mercenaries there baseless. It has asserted that Moscow supports peaceful solution of situation in the country and maintains contacts with both parties.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, Pentagon Spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said, ‘US is opposed to military offensive in the area. We have asked all parties operating there – the Russians, the Turks and others – to cease their behaviour there.’

The Pentagon spokesperson mentioned 14 Su-24 and MiG-29 jets, allegedly located in Libya, but declined to provide further details. The US Africa Command had claimed earlier that these jets had been deployed to Libya.
‘We want a secure and stable Libya. We believe that our mission is to support diplomatic and counter-terrorism efforts and enhance partnership. We would ask others to consider similar activities to give the Libyan people safety and security they deserve,’ he added.

After the ouster and assassination of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the country was plunged into a brutal civil war. Today, Libya is divided between two centers of power – an elected Parliament in the country’s east, supported by the Libyan National Army, and the UN-backed Government of National Accord in the west, headed by Fayez Sarraj.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier that Moscow did not take sides in the conflict in Libya and gave priority to the interests of Libyans.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov had said that there was no Russian military presence in the country, and diplomatic effort is the only possible way to reach peace there, Sputnik reported.

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