Clinton to attend Rome talks on Libya conflict: US

Posted on April 30, 2011

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Sat, April 30 2011 05:59
Washington (ANTARA News/AFP) – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit Rome next week for fresh talks on how to help the rebels fighting in Libya and protect civilians caught in the cross-fire, US officials said Friday.

The talks will focus on how to supply arms to the rebels battling Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi and whether to allow them to sell oil on international markets, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini has said.

“Clinton will travel to Rome, Italy May 4-6 to participate in a meeting of the Libya Contact Group,” the State Department`s acting deputy spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement.

This will be the second official meeting of the contact group after one in Doha on April 13, which was attended by leaders of the Libyan opposition`s shadow government, the Transitional National Council.

The group composed of Western countries, Turkey, Arab states, the United Nations, Arab League and NATO was set up in London on March 29.

The new talks “will build on” the Doha meeting and “will allow the United States to discuss with its international partners the ongoing implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973,” Toner said.

Resolution 1970, adopted February 26 after Colonel Moamer Kadhafi`s regime launched a bloody crackdown on a pro-democracy uprising, imposes bans on assets and travel on members of the regime as well as an arms embargo.

Adopted on March 17, the second resolution authorized “all necessary measures” to protect Libyan civilians, including air strikes on Kadhafi`s ground forces and a no-fly zone.

It also called for an immediate ceasefire and for the regime to allow in emergency relief.

Toner said Clinton will also conduct a series of bilateral meetings, including with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, President Giorgio Napolitano, and top Italian diplomat Frattini.

Philip Gordon, the assistant secretary for Europe and Eurasian affairs, and Jeffrey Feltman, the assistant secretary for Near East affairs, will travel to the Italian capital with Clinton. (*)
Editor: B Kunto Wibisono

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