Europe

Libya's eastern parliament speaker says Russia offered aid

The speaker of the parliament based in the eastern part of Libya says Russia has promised military assistance.

House of Representatives President Agila Saleh told Russia's state RIA Novosti news agency Tuesday that authorities in the east have asked Moscow to help train army personnel and repair military equipment.

Saleh says that "we were promised assistance in the fight against terrorism."

In January, Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter, a military chief allied with the parliament opposed to the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli, visited a Russian aircraft carrier off Libya's coast and had a call with the Russian defense minister.

Russia also hosted Faez Sarraj, the prime minister of the government in Tripoli, this month in an apparent effort to expand its clout in the fractured country by talking to both sides.