Germany contacts Libyan opposition figure

11th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

A high-ranking German diplomat spoke by phone with the "foreign minister" of the Libyan opposition on Friday, the foreign ministry in Berlin said.

"Within the framework of contacts with the Libyan opposition, there was a conversation between a high-ranking German diplomat with the 'foreign minister' of the opposition National Council, Ali Aziz Al-Eisawi," the ministry said.

"In this conversation, the German side said that a new Libyan government must come from elections and be representative as well as inclusive," the German foreign ministry said. "Contacts will be continued."

France and Britain have pressed for their partners in the European Union to extend formal recognition to Libya's opposition.

Germany though has so far been sceptical about such a move, with the foreign minister earlier urging caution.

Speaking to reporters in Berlin, Guido Westerwelle said: "I advise everyone to look very closely to see if these people who say they represent the people are really speaking in the name of the people."

"Certain members of the opposition were until recently members of the Khadafi regime," added the minister.

"We absolutely need to know in what direction these new forces want to go. Do they want a democracy? An election? A transformation?" asked Westerwelle.

He said the views of other countries in the region were also crucial. "We should not go faster and show more zeal than the affected countries in the area," he said.

© 2011 AFP

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