Former US congressman in Libya to broker Gaddafi's departure

Updated: 2011-04-07 10:19


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WASHINGTON -- A former US congressman arrived in Libya and was due to meet Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on Wednesday, in an effort to negotiate a deal that will allow him to step aside, local media reported.

Curt Weldon, a former Republican congressman from Pennsylvania, was leading, according to him, a small "private" delegation "at the invitation of Gaddafi's chief of staff and with the knowledge of the Obama administration."

Weldon, who had visited Libya in 2004 after Gaddafi decided to give up his nuclear program, said in an editorial on the New York Times that during the face-to-face engagement with Gaddafi, he will persuade him to leave.

He also called for an immediate UN-monitored cease-fire between the pro-Gaddafi forces and the rebels.

The White House confirmed on Wednesday that Gaddafi did write to President Barack Obama appealing for a halt of NATO airstrikes, stressing that the conditions for a ceasefire lie in action rather than words.


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