Russian Libya envoy 'ready to meet Kadhafi'

8th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

The special envoy of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday said he was prepared to meet embattled Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi, after meeting top opposition figures in their stronghold of Benghazi.

"I have met with Moamer Kadhafi in the past and am ready to do so now, if he receives me," Mikhail Margelov told Moscow Echo radio in an interview.

Margelov huddled with Libyan rebel leaders in Benghazi on Tuesday and he said he was due to fly back to Moscow overnight from Cairo and await further instructions from Medvedev.

He did not however travel to Kadhafi-controlled Tripoli, despite suggestions by some Russian officials that Moscow was ready to play the role of a mediator in the conflict.

Margelov, who met with leaders of the rebel National Transitional Council in Benghazi, said that the opposition was prepared for a dialogue with their foes.

"I was clearly told that they do not want Kadhafi's head and that they are not intending to take his scalp and nail it to the wall of their office."

The opposition has repeatedly insisted that they would not enter any negotiations until Kadhafi stepped down and Margelov said they told him that any solution involving a member of the Kadhafi family was unacceptable.

He said that Libyans needed outside help to find a way out of the conflict and several different mechanisms were possible that could include the United Nations, the African Union and Arab countries.

Russia, "which has already offered its services", was also prepared to help, he said.

Margelov described himself as a mediator and said it was usual to meet all the existing players in such a role.

© 2011 AFP

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