India is yet to take a decision on its old ally, former Libyan dictator Col Muammar Gaddafi, despite the West definitively pushing for establishing the Transitional National Council (TNC) in Tripoli.
Not even the lure of oil deals could move India although it certainly moved Russia, among others, which went ahead and recognised the military alliance, surprising New Delhi and the other BRICS members – Brazil, China and South Africa.
Although government sources are unsure of whether China will do a Russia soon, India is still unsure of its plan of action. The reason: the colonel is still sticking to his guns. Fighting is still on in Sirte, Gaddafi’s home town, and in the southern town of Sabha.
India will send medicines and other essentials worth $2 billion soon to the TNC and sent minister of state for external affairs E Ahmed to Paris on Thursday to attend a meeting on Libya’s future. Ahmed reportedly made a strong pitch for India — and Indian firms — contributing to the rebuilding of the country.
Earlier, Russia abstained from the UN Security Council vote on Resolution 1973 that sanctioned military intervention in Libya, and criticised the Nato bombing there. Its foreign ministry said it “recognises the TNC as the ruling authority and takes note of its declared programme of reforms that calls for the drafting of a new constitution, holding of general elections and formation of the government”.
The stakes are high for Moscow as Russian firms could lose more than $10 billion if current contracts aren’t honoured. This includes $3.5 billion in oil and gas deals and $4 billion in proposed arms sales.