‘Libya has Become a Terrorist Stronghold’, says deputy foreign minister of Russia

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The short-sighted policy of the West has turned Libya into a terrorist stronghold, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov announced on Saturday.

“The greatest danger represents the terrorist groups operating on the African continent, many of which support the positions of radical Islamism,” warned the deputy minister.

“Due to the extremely short-sighted policy of Western countries, Libya has become a terrorist stronghold. The situation is exacerbated by the return to Africa of militants who fought in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan,” said Bogdanov during the Africa Forum summit International “Dialogue of Civilizations.”

In Libya a diarchy reigns: the parliament elected by the people is in the east; while in the west, in the capital Tripoli, is the government led by Fayez Mustafa al-Sarraj formed with support from the UN and the European Union.

Authorities in the eastern part of the country operate independently from Tripoli and cooperate with the Libyan National Army, led by Khalifa Haftar, who is waging an extended war with the militants.

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This comes as Russia continues to build relations with Africa. Extraction of mineral resources, railway infrastructures and civil aviation are the main sectors in which African countries are seeking collaboration with Russia, said George Elombi, vice president of the African Import and Export Bank (Afreximbank).

“This is a wide range of areas: the extraction of mineral resources, where Russia already has great experience from the point of view of equipment, fertilizers, railway infrastructure, agricultural sector, financial services, civil aviation,” Elombi said when commenting on the areas with greater perspective of collaboration between Russia and Africa.

Such sectors are part of the interests of Russian colleagues, as well as “offer various opportunities for Russian exporters”.

“We regard imports from Russia as the most striking, as well as the pursuit of markets in Russia for African exporters.”

The main objective of this bank, founded in 1993 in the Nigerian capital of Abuja, is to develop and promote trade between African countries internally and externally.

Headquartered in Cairo (Egypt), the institution also has subsidiaries in Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Kenya and Zimbabwe, and since 2017 the Export Center of Russia is its shareholders.

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