Russia's Foreign Minister To Pay Maiden Visit To Lybia

Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov is expected to pay a visit to Lybia on May 6 through 7. This is going to be the first visit of a foreign minister in the history of the two countries' relations. To dominate the visit agenda is an entire spectrum of bilateral contacts as well as international and regional problems of current importance, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vasily Sredin told reporters Friday. Igor Ivanov is scheduled to be received by Lybia's revolutionary leader Muammar Qadhafi and to hold talks with Abd Al-Rahman Shalgam, Secretary of the General People's Committee for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation, said Sredin. Russia resumed military-technological contacts with Lybia after international sanctions against the country were suspended. Ever since the two countries have signed contracts on updating some of the Soviet-made weapons and materiel adopted by the Lybian army. Though Russia and Lybia have achieved considerable progress in recent years, "we are far from being fully satisfied". Last year's Russo-Lybian trade turnover made some $155 million, thanks to Russian exports alone, according to Sredin.

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