Colonel Gaddafi has no place in future Libya – Lavrov

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov says there is no place for Gaddafi in the future Libya. The statement was made in an interview to the Voice of Russia during Lavrov’s visit to Washington.

In his interview with the radio station Lavrov said that Libyan leader Gaddafi must step down. That view is also held by the Obama administration.

"We support the African Union’s initiative to start negotiations between representatives of Tripoli and the representative of the Benghazi-based Transitional National Council on the understanding that Gaddafi himself of course would not have any place in the future Libya and that Gaddafi himself would not participate in those discussions,” Lavrov said.

However, Lavrov has also criticized the scope of international intervention in Libya. He said that Moscow considers the actions of the allied forces a violation of the UN mandate.

Lavrov stressed that there must be limits to the intervention. What Moscow sees is the West now clearly taking sides in a civil war and extending the conflict.

Also on Tuesday Sergey Lavrov spoke on the controversial topic of missile-defense systems.

Speaking at a meeting with political scientists in Washington, Lavrov pointed out that Russia needs legal guarantees that the European missile-defense project will not threaten Russia’s security.  Moscow wants to have all promises in writing.

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has arrived in Washington for the meeting of the Quartet of Middle East Mediators intended to help restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. In September the Palestinian Authority is to seek UN recognition for an independent Palestinian state.