Libya Says Gadhafi Representatives Held Talks with US

Posted July 18th, 2011 at 4:55 pm (UTC-5)
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Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's spokesman says representatives from his government have held direct talks with U.S. officials on repairing ties between the two countries.

Moussa Ibrahim described Saturday's meeting as “a first step dialogue.” He said the Libyan government would “welcome any further steps.”

The Associated Press cites a U.S. State Department official who confirmed that the discussion took place. But the official said it was only to deliver the message that Mr. Gadhafi must step down, and that no further meetings are planned.

Libyan officials have said previously that the Tripoli government has conducted talks with Benghazi-based anti-government rebels. But officials with the opposition Transitional National Council have denied the claim.

Libya's Ibrahim said in June that Mr. Gadhafi would not consider a peace initiative that would require him to step down.