Greek officials say an envoy of Moammar Gadhafi has told Prime Minister George Papandreou the Libyan leader wants an end to the fighting in his country.
Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas said Sunday that it appears Libyan authorities “are seeking a solution” to the armed conflict with anti-Gadhafi forces. Droutsas spoke after acting Libyan Foreign Minister Abdul-Ati al-Obeidi met with Mr. Papandreou in Athens.
The talks were held at the request of the Libyan prime minister. Greek officials said Obeidi told Mr. Papandreou he also will travel to Malta and Turkey as the Libyan government seeks a way out of the crisis.
The New York Times reports that Mr. Gadhafi’s son, Seif el-Islam Gadhafi, has proposed a resolution to the conflict under which his father would relinquish power for a transition to constitutional democracy under his direction. The newspaper, citing a diplomat with close ties to the Libyan government, said neither the senior Mr. Gadhafi nor the rebels appear ready to accept the son’s proposal, which follows years of public efforts by Seif el-Islam Gadhafi calling for such changes.
Neither Mr. Gadhafi nor his son holds any formal office in Libya.
Meanwhile, Libyan rebels and government forces continued their standoff near the strategic oil town of Brega Sunday.
Anti-government fighters in Brega, facing the more heavily armed government troops, are said to have made a tactical withdrawal. Still, a rebel commander said his forces are becoming better organized and trained.
Also Sunday, a Turkish ship carrying 250 wounded from the besieged western city of Misrata is expected to dock in the rebels’ eastern stronghold of Benghazi. Rebel officials say the boat will pick up around 60 additional wounded civilians plus a number of injured foreigners before returning to Turkey.
On Saturday, a British diplomatic mission arrived in Benghazi. The team is led by senior British diplomat Christopher Prentice who visited the eastern city last week. The British foreign office, while confirming the visit, provided few details except to say Prentice is conferring with leaders of the rebel National Transition Council .
NATO said it is investigating a coalition air strike near Brega on Friday that claimed the lives of 13 rebel soldiers. The head of the TNC called the bombing an unfortunate mistake, apparently the result of someone in the group firing an anti-aircraft gun into the air.
Brega is one of several oil towns along the Mediterranean coast that has changed hands from rebel to government control numerous times since fighting broke out in mid-February. Pro-Gadhafi forces have mostly fended off the lightly armed and poorly trained rebel fighters in Brega, although rebels are said to have secured areas around Brega University.