The Interior Minister for Libya’s UN-backed government accused Russia of fueling a months-long war to extend its influence over the strategic oil producer, and called on the U.S. to step up efforts to resolve the conflict.
Fathi Bashagha, the Tripoli-based government’s interior minister, said counter terrorism cooperation with the U.S. that led to a series of devastating airstrikes on Islamic State in September was continuing, but the war launched by Khalifa Haftar provided fertile grounds for the terrorist organization to regroup.
The Russians have intervened to pour fuel on the fire and enhance the crisis rather than finding a solution,” Bashagha told Bloomberg in an interview in Tunis ahead of a visit to Washington. “The proof is their deployment of Wagner to Libya. They had sent it to Syria before, and central Africa, and wherever Wagner goes destruction happens.”
Bashagha accused Russia of aspiring to restore power to remnants of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, ousted in a NATO-backed rebellion in 2011, and boosting its influence in Africa and on Europe’s southern flank.
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