Russia accuses Libya of training Syrian rebels
Russia demanded Wednesday that NATO apologize for civilian casualties during the uprising in Libya last year and accused the Libyan government of supporting a training center for Syrian rebels, provoking a sharp response from the U.S. and Libya’s prime minister.
The sparring was another indication of how deeply divided the international community remains over the turmoil in the Middle East, particularly the bloody uprising in Syria.
Russia and China have accused NATO of overstepping its Security Council mandate to protect civilians in Libya during the uprising last year, and have strongly opposed any similar action in Syria.
Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said his country has received information that “a special training center for Syrian revolutionaries” has been established in Libya with support from government authorities.
He did not elaborate but expressed concern about “the uncontrolled proliferation of Libyan arms in the region” and said training fighters to attack Syria’s government was undermining stability in the Middle East.
Churkin said he wanted to the raise the issues in the presence of Libyan Prime Minister Abdurrahim el-Keib, who moments earlier had addressed the U.N. Security Council on the challenges Libya is facing after ending Moammar Gadhafi’s 42-year dictatorship.
Responding to Churkin’s accusations, el-Keib said that a matter “which concerns the blood of Libyans should not be a matter of political propaganda by any country against other countries.”
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- Russia accuses Libya of training Syrian rebels (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Libya’s new rulers offer weapons to Syrian rebels (seeker401.wordpress.com)