Kremlin to send Africa envoy to Libyan rebels: Medvedev

The Russian President said the situation in Tripoli is a bit more difficult.

Deauville: Russia will send its senior Africa envoy to the Libyan rebel bastion of Benghazi to contact the insurgents fighting Muammar Gaddafi`s regime, President Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday.

"He will literally be leaving imminently for Benghazi," Medvedev said of the Kremlin`s Africa specialist Mikhail Margelov, at a news conference after the G8 summit of world powers in the French resort of Deauville.

"So far I think it would be right for him to make a visit to Benghazi," Medvedev said. "As far as Tripoli is concerned, the situation there is a bit more difficult," referring to Gaddafi`s capital.

"But in any case I hope he will have opportunities to communicate with both sides: the rebels, new political forces and representatives of the past leadership," the Russian leader continued.

Margelov, speaking to reporters earlier Friday, said talking to Gaddafi was becoming extremely difficult so negotiations would have to be conducted with his aides and sons rather than him.

"This man has long considered himself a messiah," said Margelov, adding that the Western coalition was considering several scenarios including his trial in an international court or his staying in Libya as a private individual.

He said the conflict was heading towards the "worst-case scenario but "there are hopes for a political settlement”.

Margelov also suggested several countries had expressed willingness in the past to take Gaddafi and added that Saudi Arabia also is known for providing refuge to Muslims who seek it.

Margelov noted that negotiations were entering a very sensitive stage now. "The moment is extremely delicate now," Margelov said. "Mediating does not need to be advertised."

Bureau Report

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