Libya rebel chief denies negotiations

Libyan rebel chief Mahmud Jibril denied suggestions by a Russian envoy that the insurgents had been negotiating with Gaddafi.

Updated: Jun 17, 2011, 23:34 PM IST

Naples: Libyan rebel chief Mahmud
Jibril on Friday denied suggestions by a Russian envoy that the
insurgents had been negotiating with Muammar Gaddafi`s regime.

"I can assure you there is and there was no
negotiation between the NTC and the regime," the head of the
rebel National Transitional Council told a press conference in
Naples.

Speaking alongside Italian Foreign Minister Franco
Frattini, Jibril said that were negotiations to take place,
the NTC would "announce it out of commitment to our friends
all over the world".

"We pursue every means possible, whether political,
whether military, to liberate our country and establish
democratic government based on a constitution and equal
rights," he said.

Russian envoy Mikhail Margelov said in Tunis
earlier Friday that representatives of Gaddafi had made
contact with the rebels in a number of European capitals,
including Berlin, Paris and Oslo.

Margelov said the Libyans needed an opportunity to
negotiate, "a mechanism that brings them together and if the
international community can provide such a mechanism that
would be a great help".

Frattini also questioned the possibility of talks
between the two sides.

"Italy has always encouraged the search for
contacts and a solution based on dialogue but unfortunately
the regime has not sent any positive response and has always
demanded that Gaddafi`s remaining in power be guaranteed," he
said.

PTI