Libya 'ready to host Russian naval base'

Libya is willing to host a Russian naval base as a means of security against any possible U.S. attack, a Russian business daily said on Friday.

Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi will pay an official visit to Russia at the invitation of President Dmitry Medvedev from October 31 to November 2.

The Kommersant newspaper cited a source close to the preparations for the visit as saying that the Libyan leader was planning to raise the naval base issue during talks with the Russian leadership.

"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 Qaddafi," the paper said.

Russia desperately needs a naval base in the Mediterranean to establish a permanent military presence in the region. As a sign of a possible deal with Libya, Russian warships have recently paid a number of visits to the North African country.

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