Libyan Rebels, Italy Talk Road Map on Libya’s Future

Posted July 22nd, 2011 at 12:45 pm (UTC-5)
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Italy says it is working with the Libyan opposition to prepare a political offer to Tripoli that includes a ceasefire and a call for leader Moammar Gadhafi to relinquish power.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini announced the plans on Friday after meeting with Ali al-Essawi, the deputy of Libya's opposition Transitional National Council ((TNC). Both said there was no role for Mr. Gadhafi in Libya's future.

Frattini said they would present the plan to United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon's special envoy to Libya .

However, Mr. Gadhafi has ruled out negotiations with rebels. In an audio message Thursday he said there would be no talks with rebels “until Judgment Day.”

After Friday's meeting in Rome, al-Essawi told reporters that Libyan rebels, with NATO support, had made some advances in recent days. He said NATO forces hit a Tripoli facility where members of Mr. Gadhafi's inner circle were meeting on Thursday, seriously wounding a top aide.

Al-Essawi said rebels had advanced in the strategic oil port of Brega and the western mountains.

As the two representatives met in Italy on Friday, TNC leader Mahmoud Jabril met with Spain's prime minister in Madrid. Jose Luis Zapatero pledged continued support to the rebels.