Libyan rebels and government ‘had talks with Norway’ / News / The Foreigner

Libyan rebels and government ‘had talks with Norway’. Colonel Gaddafi’s embattled government has finally confirmed holding talks with the rebels in Oslo. Although rumours have circulated that the rebels met with representatives of Gaddafi’s government it was only yesterday that the Libyan government confirmed its involvement in the talks. “The Norwegian authorities also had a role in the talks. It was also only conversations, not direct negotiations,” Gaddafi’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Khaled Al Ga'aeem, has told NRK.

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Libyan rebels and government ‘had talks with Norway’

Published on Monday, 4th July, 2011 at 21:05 under the news category, by Gareth Corfield.
Last Updated on 4th July 2011 at 22:15.

Colonel Gaddafi’s embattled government has finally confirmed holding talks with the rebels in Oslo.

Muammar Gaddafi
Muammar Gaddafi
Photo: BRQ Network/Flickr


Although rumours have circulated that the rebels met with representatives of Gaddafi’s government it was only yesterday that the Libyan government confirmed its involvement in the talks.

“The Norwegian authorities also had a role in the talks. It was also only conversations, not direct negotiations,” Gaddafi’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Khaled Al Ga'aeem, has told NRK.

However, the rebels are still denying that talks took place.

“There has never been any contact between the parties in Oslo. This is just fiction,” said Guma El-Gamaty, the rebels’ European spokesperson.

This move confirms earlier rumours started by Russia’s envoy to Libya, Mikhail Margelov, who said that the rebels were definitely engaged in peace talks with the Libyan government.

Peace talks were reportedly held in Oslo, Paris, Berlin and in rebel-held Benghazi. Experts have analysed the Norwegian position and have concluded that talks almost definitely took place.

“Contact in the initial phase of political conversations can be direct or indirect. It does not even have to be formal representatives of both sides. There could be someone who speaks with both parties and it’s possible this is what took place in Oslo and elsewhere,” said Jan Egeland, Director of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI).

Libya’s deputy Foreign Minister has muddied the waters today by claiming that Norway’s F-16s in Libya have bombed civilians.

“Norway is responsible for killing civilians. Even though Norwegian bombs should not have killed civilians directly, Norway could have provided intelligence information or contributed in other ways to NATO raids that killed civilians,” Khaled Al Ga'aeem told NRK today, calling for Norway to recall its jets immediately and search for a political solution instead.

Meanwhile, the African Union has now taken over responsibility for negotiations between the Libyan regime and the rebels. South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma flew to Russia today to continue negotiations between the two sides, AFP reported.

NUPI Director Jan Egeland believes arbitration with the rebels could put and end to the bombing, saying, “It [Gaddafi’s government] is hard-pressed and there is constant desertion from his side. On the other hand, the rebels believe that they can win this militarily.

“They are 80 kilometres from Tripoli and they feel that NATO is their air force, which is a problem for NATO, and do not want to hear any talk of negotiations, so therefore they say that nothing will happen as long as Gaddafi is still in power,” he concludes.




Published on Monday, 4th July, 2011 at 21:05 under the news category, by Gareth Corfield.
Last updated on 4th July 2011 at 22:15.

This post has the following tags: muammaral-gaddafi, libyanrebeltalks, khaledalgaaeem, gumael-gamaty.





  
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