US takes full control over NATO operation in Libya – Lavrov
MOSCOW, January 18 (Itar-Tass) — The United States was not an onlooker in the Libyan events and took full control over the NATO operation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Lavrov said, “Now American political scientists are promoting the concept, ‘leading from behind’, i.e. ‘leadership from the second rank, from the back’.”
“For the first time this concept was mentioned during the Libyan events. The term was thought out in order to describe the more active role of European NATO members than the U.S. role.” “But the U.S. was not an onlooker because in the first days of strikes it used its potential in full, when Libyan air defence was brought out of operation, by delivering intelligence information to its European allies and providing firing support, including from unmanned aircraft. Surely, Americans took full control – we analysed this.” “I think that Americans’ reaction to our proposal to investigate the death of civilians, including children, during NATO strikes in the U.N. is conditioned by this fact,” Lavrov pointed out.
“We are concerned about the attempts to repeat the Libyan scenario in Syria. We sincerely tell our American and European partners about it by warning against repeating any variants of using force regardless who and wherefrom is it,” Lavrov said.
“If we talk about the Arab world in general, of course, we understand that the U.S., like as other large countries, has vast interests. Our common interests are to contribute to carrying out successful reforms and preventing disturbances. That is why we come in favour of a broad nationwide dialogue without external interference,” the Russian minister stressed.