Russian military delegation visits Benghazi upon Haftar’s invitation

Russian military officials including Moscow’s Deputy Defense Minister – Yunus-bek Yevkurov – arrived in Libya’s Benghazi on Tuesday after receiving an invite from pro-Kremlin Khalifa Haftar, both Haftar’s General Command and the Russian Defense Ministry announced.

Moscow’s Defense Ministry said that this was the first official visit of a Russian military delegation to Libya, and it was organized after talks with Libya at the Army-2023 expo and Moscow Conference on International Security earlier this month.

“During the visit, it is planned to discuss prospects for cooperation in combating international terrorism and other issues of joint action,” the Ministry added.

The meeting came amid renewed focus on Russia’s activities in Africa, after Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin announced in a video published Monday that his group was making the continent “freer.”

Wagner mercenaries were brought to Libya by Haftar to help carry out an offensive on Tripoli to seize power in 2019, but after the attack had failed, the mercenaries remained positioned in east and south Libya, which raised concerns for the African region and the international community, especially the US.


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