First Published: 2011-04-05


Turkey presses Libyan regime for truce, reform


Senior Turkish diplomat says Ankara wants end to violence, urgent establishment of genuine ceasefire, political transformation in Libya.


Middle East Online

ANKARA - Turkey has pressed for a ceasefire and political reform in Libya in talks with an envoy of Moamer Gathafi's regime, but there was no immediate agreement, a senior diplomat said Tuesday.

The envoy, Libya's Deputy Foreign Minister Abdelati Laabidi, met with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Ankara late Monday.

"We want an end to violence, an urgent establishment of a genuine ceasefire and a political transformation in Libya," the diplomat, who asked not to be named, said.

Laabidi "conveyed their position but our views are not in full convergence," he said, stressing that the contacts "are at a very early stage."

Representatives of the Libyan opposition are also expected in Ankara in the coming days, with the Turkish consulate in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi already in contact with them.

Turkish officials said Monday that Ankara would see whether there is "any common ground" for a ceasefire and an agreement on a "roadmap" of political reform to end the turmoil in Libya.

Laabidi, who visited also Greece, traveled on to Malta following his talks in Ankara.

In the earlier stages of the unrest, Ankara had made discreet efforts to persuade Gathafi to cede power, hoping for a less turbulent outcome like in Tunisia and Egypt.

Turkey, NATO's sole Muslim-majority member and a key regional player, has contributed six military vessels to a NATO patrol mission enforcing a Un-mandated arms embargo in Libyan waters and undertaken several missions of humanitarian assistance.


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