France says 'passing messages' to Kadhafi, no direct talks
France has made indirect contact with Libyan strongman Moamer Kadhafi's regime, the foreign ministry said Monday, denying reports that Paris has begun direct negotiations with Tripoli.
Paris is a leading member of the NATO-led international coalition bombing Kadhafi's forces and a cheerleader for the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) battling to overthrow his rule.
"France has always said it wants a political solution. There are no direct negotiations between France and Kadhafi's regime, but we pass it messages in liaison with the NTC and our allies," spokesman Bernard Valero said.
"These messages are simple and without ambiguity: any political solution must begin with Kadhafi's withdrawal from power and abandonment of any political role," he added.
France was reacting after Kadhafi's son Seif Al-Islam was quoted in an Algerian daily boasting that the regime was "holding real negotiations with France and not with the rebels."
© 2011 AFP