Libya envoy in Turkey for truce talks

Last Updated: Monday, April 4, 2011 - 22:59

Ankara: An envoy of Libyan leader
Moammer Gaddafi arrived in Ankara on Monday to seek Turkish help
for a possible ceasefire with opposition forces, officials
said.

The envoy, Libya`s Deputy Foreign Minister Abdelati
Laabidi, was to hold talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet
Davutoglu, but details of his itinerary were not immediately
available.

"Both sides have told us that they have certain
thoughts on a ceasefire. We will talk to the two sides and see
whether there is any common ground," a senior foreign ministry
official said on condition of anonymity.

"The opposition is informed about the visit and they
may also come (to Turkey) soon," he added.
Italy`s Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, however,
dismissed the diplomatic overtures concerning a ceasefire from
Gaddafi`s regime.

He said the proposals were "not credible" after Rome
today recognised the rebel interim national council as its
sole interlocutor.

Britain said it was not pursuing "an exit strategy for
Gaddafi" but a "genuine ceasefire."

"There have been lots of reports of envoys and of the
regime reaching out in a number of ways... We have been very
clear throughout about what the next step should be and that
needs to be a genuine ceasefire and an end to violence," a
spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron said.

A Turkish government official, who also asked not to
be named, said that "a ceasefire in Libya is a priority" for
Turkey.

The Turkish consulate in the rebel stronghold of
Benghazi is already in contact with the opposition, he added.
Laabadi held talks in Greece yesterday and was
expected to travel also to Malta.

"According to what the Libyan envoy said the regime
seems to be looking for a solution," Greek Foreign Minister
Dimitris Droutsas said in a statement after yesterday`s
meeting between Laabidi and Prime Minister George Papandreou.

The Libyan rebels insisted today that the whole of
Gaddafi`s family must leave before there can be any truce with
regime forces amid reports that his sons are offering to
oversee a transition.

PTI



First Published: Monday, April 4, 2011 - 22:59

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