Tuesday, 19 July 2011
Libya in talks with the US
A US spokesman said that the Libyan government concdeded to dialogue but only if it was without preconditions.
On Monday 18th July, reports emerged that Libyan rebels had made their way into the oil town of Brega. The claim was denied by pro-Qadhafi forces, who said that the key oil refinery town was still firmly under its control.
A spokesman for the rebels, Mohammed Zawi, however, was quoted by AFP news agency as saying: "Some small groups have made it inside, but we do not control the whole [town] yet."
A statement released by US State department said the delegation gave Qadhafi representatives a “clear” message that the Leader must step-down. The statement said: “The message was simple and unambiguous - Gaddafi must leave power so that a new political process can begin that reflects the will and aspirations of the Libyan people… We will discuss everything but do not condition your peace talks. Let the Libyans decide their future.”
The talks, which reportedly took place in neighbouring Tunisia, were hailed by Libya's government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim as an important step forward in “repairing relations" with the US.
Speaking to the press in Tripoli, Ibrahim said: "We support any dialogue, any peace initiative as long as they don't decide Libya's future from without…We will discuss everything but do not condition your peace talks. Let the Libyans decide their future.”
Sources: BBC News, Tripoli Post, Washington Post
For more news and expert analysis about Libya, please see Libya Focus and Libya Politics & Security.