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Russia in contacts to discuss Gaddafi departure

( L to R) U.S. President Barack Obama, Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev and France's President Nicolas Sarkozy wave upon arriv

Source : Reuters
Moscow | 26 May 2011

Russia has contacts in Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's entourage with whom it can negotiate his departure, Moscow's special representative on Africa Mikhail Margelov said on Friday.

"We shouldn't talk to Gaddafi himself but with members of his cabinet, possibly with his sons. And we are making such contacts, so there is a hope for a political resolution," Margelov told reporters at the G8 summit in northern France.

Asked to specify who Russia's main partner would be in such talks, he said: "Can you imagine, if I give you this person's name and his head were to be cut off the next day?

"But yes, we do have people in Gaddafi's camp."

Russia says its G8 partners have suggested it take a mediation role in the Libyan crisis, although that has not been confirmed by other officials at the Deauville meeting.

Russia has criticised the Western powers bombing campaign but has agreed with its G8 partners that Gaddafi should step aside.


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