Gaddafi holds talks with Medvedev, Putin

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Moscow, Nov 2 (UNI) Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi held separate talks in Moscow with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

He is leading a high level delegation to increase investment and business cooperation in various spheres.

Medvedev said at the opening of the meeting yesterday that he was certain the talks would "boost friendly ties" between Russia and Libya.

On his part, Gaddafi said ''The door to enhance cooperation in civilian spheres was open to Russia.'' The Libyan leader told Putin he expected progress in bilateral ties that would have ''a positive effect on the international situation and the geopolitical balance of power.'' ''Unfortunately, bilateral relations in the past were mostly limited to military and political contacts,'' he added.

Libya was one of the key buyers of Soviet arms with estimated deliveries worth 20 billion dollar. Now the outdated equipment desperately needs modernising.

Leading Russian business daily Kommersant quoted a source as saying that the Libyan leader would raise the issue of a possible Russian naval base in Libya during his three-day visit to Moscow.

''The Libyan leader believes that a Russian military presence in the country would prevent possible attacks by the United States, which despite numerous Libyan attempts to amend bilateral relations is not in a hurry to embrace Colonel Gaddafi,'' the paper said.

UNI XC SV RN1643

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