International mediators to discuss Libya conflict in Rome

An international meeting in Rome next month will discuss the future of Libya amid calls for NATO to increase pressure on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said on Tuesday.

The international contact group, which includes Western powers, their Middle Eastern allies and international organizations, will meet in Rome on May 2, Frattini said in comments carried by the news channel Canale 5.

"The entire international community is working towards the only possible solution [to the conflict], that is the departure of [Col Muammar] Gaddafi," Frattini said after talks with Mustafa Abdul Jalil, head of the rebel Transitional National Council.

Italy has followed France in recognizing the council as the only legitimate representative of the Libyan people.

The meeting will also discuss ways to facilitate the sale of oil from rebel-held areas.

The leaders will work on ways of "allowing the sale of oil products produced in Cyrenaica to international buyers," Frattini said.

Meanwhile, heavy fighting has continued in the port of Misurata, the only rebel-held western city, which Gaddafi's forces have been pounding for days. The government troops are also continuing to quash the key rebel stronghold of Ajdabiya.

[Source: RIA Novosti, Rome, 19Apr11]

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