Russian envoy arrives in Libya rebels' capital

7th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

President Dmitry Medvedev's envoy Mikhail Margelov arrived in Benghazi Tuesday for meetings with Libyan rebel leaders in the first trip by a top Russian official to their stronghold.

"We have come to Benghazi to facilitate dialogue between the two camps," Margelov told reporters on touching down at the city's airport.

"Russia is in a unique position because it already has an ambassador in Tripoli and now we are meeting with the rebel leadership today," he added.

Medvedev said at the G8 summit last month that he would be sending an envoy to Libya, as Moscow seeks to present itself as a potential mediator between the rebels and Moamer Kadhafi's regime and expresses growing alarm at the continued conflict.

An official in Moscow said on Monday that Margelov would meet with rebel leaders but would not travel to Tripoli.

But the envoy said on his arrival that he would be in Cairo on Wednesday and added, without elaborating, that he "may eventually travel to Tripoli."

Margelov, Medvedev's envoy for Africa, will meet Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the chairman of the National Transitional Council that controls eastern Libya around Benghazi, his spokeswoman Varvara Paal told AFP.

He is also to meet the rebels' military affairs chief Omar al-Hariri and the prime minister of the NTC, Mahmud Jibril, she said.

© 2011 AFP

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