Qaddafi to arrive in Moscow on official visit

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Moscow, Oct 29 (UNI) Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi will arrive here on Friday on a three-day official visit at the invitation of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, the Kremlin press service today said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he was sure Qaddafi's visit would be a success.

''I have no doubt about that,'' Lavrov said, while noting the warming of bilateral ties between the two countries.

According to Russian media reports, deals to supply arms to Libya worth more than 2 billion dollars may be signed during the Leader's visit.

Qaddafi, who has ruled the oil and gas-rich African state since 1969, last visited Moscow in 1985, under the Soviet Union.

Russian business daily Vedomosti said quoting an official in the Russian Technology Corporation, that contracts had been discussed on the supply of 16 SU-30 MKI Flanker-H multirole fighters, T-90 tanks, and TOR-M2E air defence systems to Libya.

Libya's Soviet-era 4.6 billion dollar debt was written off in lieu of a host of new contracts, the largest being a 3 billion dollar deal under which the Russian Railways monopoly is to build a 554-km (344-mile) railroad in Libya.

The deal was signed during the visit of then President Vladimir Putin, last April.

Russian energy giant Gazprom, the Libyan national oil company, and the Libyan African Investment Fund have also signed memorandums to set up joint ventures to launch production in Libya and other African states, the paper said.

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