First Published: 2008-07-31

 
Libya in talks with Russia for arms, nuclear deal
 

Russian PM says Libyan leadership confirms its interest in acquiring high-quality Russian arms.

 

Middle East Online

Libya aims to strengthen its armed forces

MOSCOW - Libya is negotiating with Moscow to buy Russian weapons and for the construction of a nuclear power station, the countries' prime ministers said on Thursday.

"The Libyan leadership confirmed its interest in acquiring high-quality products from the Russian defence industry," Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was quoted as saying by Interfax and ITAR-TASS after a meeting with Libyan Prime Minister Baghdadi Mahmudi.

"We reached agreement on concrete steps that will enable strengthening of the Libyan armed forces thanks to bilateral cooperation," the Libyan prime minister said.

Quoted by RIA Novosti, the Libyan premier also said: "We are working on the project of creating a nuclear power plant, to be used for electricity generation."

A Russian defence ministry source, quoted by Interfax, said Tripoli was interested in buying Russian surface-to-air missiles, tanks, helicopters and fighter jets with a total value over two billion dollars (1.3 billion euros).

In April during a visit to Libya by Putin, Russia's president at the time, Moscow agreed to cancel billions of dollars of Libyan Soviet-era debt in exchange for multi-billion-dollar contracts with Russian companies.

On Thursday the two prime ministers also discussed cooperation in the oil and gas sectors between their petroleum-rich countries.

The Libyan premier said Tripoli had established a "special relationship" with Russian gas giant Gazprom, which has been in talks to develop gas projects in Libya, Interfax reported.

Gazprom has signed a cooperation agreement with Libya's national energy company, while Russia's rail monopoly, Russian Railways, also signed a 2.2 billion euro contract to build a 600-kilometre (370-mile) railway line connecting the Libyan cities of Surt and Benghazi.

At Thursday's meeting, Mahmudi invited Putin to Libya in August for a ceremony marking the start of the railway's construction.

Putin also thanked Mahmudi for Tripoli's decision to release an official of Lukoil, Russia's second-largest oil company, who had been detained in Libya since November 2007.

Lukoil said in a statement Thursday that Alexander Tsygankov, head of its Libya office, had returned to Moscow after being held for eight months without charges.

 

Libya jihadists declare Benghazi ‘Islamic emirate’

Carnage in Gaza Strip as death toll passes 1,300

Morocco king deplores unequal wealth distribution

US plans largest ever sale of lethal missiles to Iraq

Qatar invests in Israeli soccer

Identification of Air Algerie crash victims ‘could take years’

Philippines prepares to evacuate 13,000 citizens from Libya

Jihadists fight on more than one front in Syria

Sudan Christian woman chooses US as final destination to settle down

France moves to disband violent Jewish group

Chief of Iran Quds Force ridicules calls to disarm Hamas

US supports Israel with weapons, Gaza with sweet words

Syria Kurds battle jihadists killing nearly 50

West watches post-Gathafi Libya descend in chaos

Mosul’s residents rise up against jihadists

Militants fire at Tunisia army helicopter

Islamists capture key Benghazi army base

16 killed in Israeli shelling of UN school in Gaza

Italian fire-fighting planes to come to Libya rescue

Syria rebels advance towards Hama military airport

Bloodshed in Gaza surges amid no truce

Major western powers call for Libya ceasefire

US-Israeli ties sink to new depths over Gaza war

UN warns buying oil from terrorists could lead to sanctions

Air Algerie crash black boxes sent to France

Warning of Tripoli catastrophe after huge oil depot blaze

US, UN call for immediate Gaza ceasefire

Egypt army kills 14 jihadists in restive Sinai Peninsula

Calls for temporary Gaza ceasefire fall on deaf ears

Yemen army foils new Qaeda attempt to seize military posts

Investigators need ‘few days’ to probe cause of Algeria plane crash

Tunisia army suffers more losses in open war with terrorism

Jihadists advance amid escalation in Syria anti-regime offensive

Iraq Shiite militia takes bloody revenge against ‘Islamic State’ in Baquba

Fierce clashes kill at least 38 people in Benghazi

Israel resumes devastating military assault on Gaza

Thousands face famine as food security situation worsens in Somalia

Death toll in Gaza climbs as fragile ceasefire reveals destruction

Egypt summons Turkey charge d'affaires for second time in one week

‘Islamic State’ jihadists dynamite Shiite shrine in Mosul

US evacuates embassy staff in Libya over ‘real risk’

Investigators begin 'difficult' probe into Air Algerie plane disaster

Armed men snatch Head of Baghdad Provincial Council

‘Islamic State’ beheads Syrian soldiers in Raqa

Kerry in Paris for talks on long-term Gaza truce