The prime ministers discussed current issues of Russian-Libyan trade and economic cooperation, including interaction prospects in energy, transport and agriculture.
Excerpts from the transcript:
Mikhail Mishustin: Good afternoon, Mr Dbeibeh, friends. We are delighted to welcome you at the House of the Government of the Russian Federation.
This is your first visit to Russia in the capacity of Prime Minister of Libya’s Government of National Unity. It is an honour to welcome you to Russia.
We know that it is the holy month of Ramadan for Muslims. Ramadan Mubarak, as you say. I would like to thank you once again for coming to visit us at this time.
You have already held talks with President of Russia Vladimir Putin. I hope that we will be able to hold an in-depth discussion of all aspects of our bilateral cooperation that deserve our reciprocal attention.
Russia has always supported Libya’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity. We regard this as an important factor and hope that it will lead to a peaceful settlement of the years-long conflict based on the involvement of all constructive political forces that are interested in strengthening the Libyan state.
The main objective is to put an end now to the hostilities and stabilise the security situation. We have a great interest in developing constructive interaction with the National Unity Government you are chairing now, and we are ready for active work at the level of relevant ministries and agencies.
Unfortunately, the dynamic of our trade and economic cooperation with Libya has decreased during the pandemic. It currently amounts to some $120 million. We are ready to do everything necessary together to create favourable conditions for the return of Russian business to Libya.
There are good opportunities in energy, industry, transport infrastructure and the agro-industrial complex. We are ready to offer our solutions on digital services to our Libyan friends.
As regards investment, it is important to make effective decisions that will guarantee proper rights to those who invest in the Libyan economy during the period when new government bodies are being formed. Investment guarantees are very important today for the return of Russian and other foreign companies to Libya.
Our joint Intergovernmental Commission on Scientific, Technical, Trade and Economic Cooperation must deal with all these issues. Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov recently became the head of the commission. He is a great professional, a seasoned man. We are looking forward to your decision on the commission’s Libyan co-chair.
We are willing to continue our cooperation and assistance in countering the coronavirus infection and in healthcare in general. Generally, we are interested in building up our humanitarian ties and our cooperation in culture and art. I am willing to discuss all these issues with you. Please go ahead, esteemed Mr Dbeibeh.
Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh (via interpreter): Thank you very much, Mr Mishustin, for this reception. Thank you for this opportunity to visit Moscow.
First of all, I would like to introduce you to two of my colleagues who are members of the Libyan delegation: Foreign Minister Najla Mohammed El Mangoush and Oil Minister Mohamed Aoun.
Mr Mishustin, our dear friends, first, let us thank you for a warm, cordial reception that is particularly important for us in the difficult times that Libya and the entire Mediterranean are going through.
Our current meeting embodies Russia’s strong position on the formation of the Government of National Unity in Libya. This position has been clear and understandable from the very beginning. It rested on the well-known principles of the need to stop hostilities, reach a ceasefire and achieve accord between all confronting parties.
This position deserves all-round respect and high praise. We hope your country will continue adhering to these principles during our further efforts to promote cooperation in various areas.
I would also like to thank the Russian leadership for its diplomatic efforts and guarantees of the agreements reached at the historical meeting in Sochi in 2020. They allowed Libya to restore its oil production.
Having arrived here, we are convinced that Russia is well placed to continue promoting peace in Libya.
Proceeding from the effective and strong position occupied by your country, and its substantial influence on regional and international forces, we believe that it may help promote stability in the interests of the Libyan people, as well as help us ensure the sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of our country.