Khalifa Haftar, the military commander of Libya’s eastern government, has met Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and said he was seeking Moscow’s help in his fight against Islamic militants at home.
Haftar, on his second visit to Moscow since the summer, requested military support from the Kremlin in September, according to Russian media. It was unclear on Tuesday if such help would be forthcoming.
“Our relations are crucial, our goal today is to give life to these relations,” the TASS news agency quoted Haftar as saying at the start of talks with Lavrov. “We hope we will eliminate terrorism with your help in the nearest future.”
Libya splintered into rival political and armed groupings after the uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 and remains deeply divided between factions based in the east and west that back rival governments and parliaments.
Haftar, who is aligned with the eastern parliament and government based in Tobruk, has been fighting a two-year military campaign with his Libyan National Army against Islamic extremists and other opponents in Benghazi and elsewhere in the east.