Libya envoy in Turkey for truce talks
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Last Updated: Monday, April 04, 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 04, 2011, 22:59


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