Libyan opposition says no talks with Gadhafi

Updated: 2011-05-24 07:09


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MOSCOW - Libyan opposition's envoy from the Interim Transitional National Council on Monday said here that they would not hold any talks with Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi.

The envoy, who is also a former Libyan foreign minister, Abdul- Rahman Shalgam, made the remarks in a press conference after his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

"Who must cease fire? Gadhafi must," Shalgam said, adding that "We will have peace and no gunfire when Gadhafi steps down from power or leaves the country."

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Meanwhile, Shalgam said that the dialogue between them and Moscow was "desirable."

"We want it very much to be in touch with Russia, because it is a very important country, a permanent member of the UN Security Council," he added.

Earlier on the day, Lavrov said the main aim of the meeting between Russia and the Libyan opposition is to gain a cease-fire in Libya.

With regard to NATO's possible ground military operation in Libya, Shalgam said that the opposition stood firmly against any ground operations.

However, he still supported NATO's operations in Libya, saying that western coalition has been operating to protect the Libyan people under the UN mandate but not on their own initiative.

NATO said its air campaign had rolled back the ability of government forces to attack the opposition fighters and their supporters, and had effectively forced Gadhafi himself into hiding.

However, the three-month conflict seems to have reached in a deadlock, as the opposition controls the east part of Libya and some of the west but cannot advance westward further to the capital of Tripoli.


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