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RUSSIA AGREES TO MEDIATE GADDAFI EXIT


PARIS, French - Russia has agreed to mediate the exit of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya's leader, after leaders at the Group of Eight (G8) meeting in France called on Russia to take the role. Sergei Ryabkov, the Russian deputy foreign minister, told reporters on Friday that "Gaddafi has forfeited legitimacy" and that Russia is ready "to help him go".
  • Soon after, Mikhail Margelov, Moscow's special representative on Africa told reporters that his country is ready to negotiate Gaddafi's departure.
  • Margelov explained that Russia is in contact with Gaddafi's entourage, and that they are willing to negotiate Libyan leader’s fate.
  • "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.
  • When 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 has been critical of the NATO-led bombing campaign, but after months of violent and bloody clashes, agreed that Gaddafi should step aside.
Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, thanked Dmitry Medvedev, his Russian counterpart, for helping efforts to resolve the conflict in Libya.
Source: Al Jazeera
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