Published: Mon, January 13, 2020

Libya and Iran top agenda in Merkel-Putin meeting

Libya and Iran top agenda in Merkel-Putin meeting

His remarks came during talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Moscow on Saturday to discuss growing tensions in the Middle East and other issues.

Merkel endorsed the Russian-Turkish initiative and announced Berlin would be willing to host United Nations -led peace talks aimed at "allowing Libya to become a peaceful and sovereign country".

Morawiecki, whose government argues that the project will make the European Union too dependent on Russian gas, called Berlin's decision not to abandon Nord Stream 2 a "step in the wrong direction." .

Merkel is to invite Putin to a Berlin conference on Libya later this month, diplomatic sources told AFP.

Putin reiterated Moscow's denial of this, saying: 'if there are Russians there, they do not represent the interests of the Russian state and do not receive money from it'.

Confrontation between Washington and Tehran over the USA killing of a top general and turmoil in Libya are set to dominate talks in Moscow on Saturday between the leaders of Russian Federation and Germany.

Turkey backs Fayez al-Serraj's Tripoli-based, internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) and has said it will send military advisers and possibly troops to reinforce its support, while Russian military contractors have been deployed alongside General Khalifa Haftar's eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA).

Putin in December held talks with Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky in Paris in the "Normandy format" hosted by German and French leaders.

The Kremlin said the talks would also cover the conflict in Ukraine.

Merkel added that "despite the sanctions it will be possible to complete Nord Stream 2". The pipeline has been the target of sanctions by the USA government, which says that the pipeline, which belongs to the state oil company Gazprom, could be used as a "tool of coercion" and could turn Germany into a "hostage of Russian Federation".

"Yes, we will certainly be able to complete it on our own, without attracting foreign partners".

The Russian leader said the project had faced some delays because of sanctions but would be online by the end of this year or the beginning of 2021. Russian Federation and Germany are among world powers still backing the deal.

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