Russia envoy expected in Tripoli: spokeswoman

16th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

The Africa envoy of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who has offered to mediate in the Libya conflict, was due to arrive in Tripoli later Thursday, a spokeswoman said.

Mikhail Margelov left Tunisia on Wednesday evening to travel to the Libyan capital by car, his spokeswoman Varvara Paal told AFP.

During his visit, which will last only a day, he will meet the prime minister and foreign minister, but was not scheduled to meet Libyan strongman Moamer Kadhafi.

Margelov, a senior lawmaker and the Kremlin's representative to Africa, said last month it was becoming increasingly difficult to hold talks with Kadhafi.

Last week, Margelov travelled to the Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi and Cairo where he held talks with Kadhafi's cousin Ahmed Gaddaf al-Dam and other people from his circle.

He said at that time that after his visit to Tripoli, Moscow would be prepared to offer a preliminary "roadmap" for settling the conflict.

The Kremlin has repeatedly called on the West, which is involved in the bombing campaign against Kadhafi's forces, to halt its campaign.

On Sunday, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the eccentric president of the World Chess Federation travelled to Tripoli where he played chess with Kadhafi and his eldest son Muhammad.

He said the Libyan strongman had told him during the rare encounter that he had no plans to stand down or leave the country.

© 2011 AFP

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