Kadyrov and Qaddafi Profess Mutual Admiration

Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 9 Issue: 42

Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, who made an official visit to Moscow this past weekend, met in the Russian capital with Ramzan Kadyrov and accepted an invitation from the Chechen president to visit Chechnya in 2010, RIA Novosti reported. “President Ramzan Kadyrov invited the Libyan leader during their meeting in Moscow,” Kadyrov’s spokesman Lema Gudaev told RIA Novosti. “As Ramzan Akhmatovich said, Muammar Qaddafi celebrates the birth of the Prophet in a Muslim country each year, so Kadyrov invited the Libyan leader to such a celebration in the Chechen Republic in 2010. The invitation was accepted with gratitude.” Kadyrov and Qaddafi held one-on-one talks “in a warm and friendly atmosphere,” the Chechen presidential spokesman said, adding that during the meeting, the Libyan leader expressed support for the Chechen leadership and its work “to ensure peace and order as a part of the Russian Federation.”

Gudaev quoted Qaddafi as telling Kadyrov that “being a part of Russia is in the interests, first and foremost, of Chechnya itself,” and that this “was perfectly understood by the first president of the Chechen Republic”—a reference to Ramzan Kadyrov’s father, Akhmad Kadyrov. The spokesman quoted Kadyrov as saying that “all the achievements in the peaceful building and rebirth of the Chechen Republic in a brotherly family with the peoples of Russia are a result of an understanding of the situation and attentiveness from the Russian leadership.” According to Gudaev, Kadyrov added that the “Chechen Republic today is one of the most dynamically developing Russian regions, and now the republic has moved on from the stage of reconstruction to the stage of solid social-economic development.”

The Prague Watchdog website on November 3 said that there are “striking” similarities between Kadyrov and Qaddafi, whose official biography refers to the Libyan leader’s “passion for horses and hunting” as well as his interest “in various types of weapons and special communications." Prague Watchdog noted that Kadyrov, “like many Arab sheikhs, owns racehorses and a private zoo.” Describing the meeting between Qaddafi and Kadyrov, Prague Watchdog wrote that “as is customary in the East, the two leaders did not stint lavish praise of each other” and that Kadyrov, with “his characteristic directness,” said that Qaddafi was “one of the recognized leaders of the Muslim world and that therefore his opinions carry a great deal of weight with the Chechen Republic and its leadership.”