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Russia recognizes Libya's Transitional National Council as a legitimate negotiator on Libya's future, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday.
Lavrov met with Abdel Rahman Shalgam, a representative of the Libyan opposition, on Monday. The opposition has been seeking to oust Libya's long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi since mid-February.
"The Transitional National Council does not seek to be recognized as the only legitimate representative of the Libyan people, but wants to be seen as a legitimate partner in negotiations on Libya's future," Sergei Lavrov said.
A total of 14 of the 28 NATO countries are taking part in the operation Unified Protector in Libya, which includes airstrikes, a no-fly zone and naval enforcement of an arms embargo in response to attacks on civilians.
Russia abstained in the UN Security Council vote on the resolution.
Western media reports claim the U.S. has suggested the Libyan rebels open a representative office in Washington.
MOSCOW, May 24 (RIA Novosti)
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Russia has become very adept in playing the diplomatic game, in which victory depends on choosing the right associate or partner. But there are a growing number of claimants to this role in the new horizontal and interdependent world. Aside Syria and Iran, being still important, the new venues for the application of practical diplomacy may well be Ukraine, the East China Sea and Afghanistan.