Russian FM Lavrov in Middle East push to resolve Qatar crisis

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. (AFP)
Updated 29 August 2017
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Russian FM Lavrov in Middle East push to resolve Qatar crisis

KUWAIT CITY: Russia’s foreign minister is in Kuwait at the start of a three-nation tour of Gulf states over the ongoing Qatar diplomatic crisis.
Sergei Lavrov’s visit to Kuwait City on Monday marks the first high-level diplomatic visit by Russia over the crisis, which began on June 5. Lavrov also will visit Qatar and the UAE on his trip.
Kuwait’s ruler has tried to mediate an end to a boycott by four Arab nations against Qatar, as have the US, France and other world powers.
Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE began their boycott over allegations that Qatar funds extremist groups and has too warm of ties with Iran.
Qatar has long denied funding extremists and just recently sent its ambassador back to Tehran.


UN envoy warns of ‘long and bloody war’ in Libya

Updated 15 min 9 sec ago
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UN envoy warns of ‘long and bloody war’ in Libya

UNITED NATIONS: The UN envoy for Libya warned Tuesday the battle for Tripoli was “just the start of a long and bloody war” and called for immediate steps to cut off arms flows fueling the fighting.
Addressing the Security Council, Ghassan Salame said many countries were supplying weapons to the UN-recognized government in Tripoli and forces led by Khalifa Haftar.
Haftar launched an offensive on April 4 to seize the capital but his forces have been bogged down in the southern outskirts of Tripoli.
“The violence on the outskirts of Tripoli is just the start of a long and bloody war on the southern shores of the Mediterranean, imperilling the security of Libya’s immediate neighbors and the wider Mediterranean region,” Salame said.
Without immediate action to stop the flow of arms, “Libya will descend into civil war which could potentially lead to a Hobbesian all-against-all state of chaos or partition of the country,” he said.
Salame also said that Daesh has begun to reappear in Libya, and have set up flags in the south of the country.
The Security Council failed last month to agree on a draft resolution demanding a cease-fire in Libya and a return to political talks to end the conflict.
Russia refused to include any mention of Haftar’s offensive on Tripoli while the United States said it needed more time to consider the situation, diplomats said.
The envoy urged the council to set up a commission of inquiry to “determine who has taken up arms” and prevent indicted war crimes suspects from taking part in military operations.
More than 75,000 people have been driven from their homes in the latest fighting and 510 have been killed, according to the World Health Organization.