United Nations special envoy to Libya, Abdul Elah Al Khatib has been authorized to lead Libyan opposition group Transitional National Council in talks aimed at securing Colonel Muammar Qaddafi’s exit from office, according to Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini.
"Only one group will negotiate and the group is led by Mr al-Khatib. Member states decided - all the member states - that we pass the same message to Tripoli in case there are further attempts to have confidential mediations or negotiation. This is not up to us to keep secret mediation, this is up to Al Khatib to lead and, frankly speaking, that would be otherwise very counterproductive."
Mr. Frattini said this on July 15 at the meeting of the Libyan Contact Group which took place in Istanbul, Turkey.
"Stopping military would mean ceasefire, well, ceasefire is one of the parts of the agreement and the political solution. Mr Khatib is entitled to present a political package. This political package is a political offer including a ceasefire."
Meanwhile, Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu stressed the importance of the group assisting the TNC in securing funds.
"With the advent of the holy month of Ramadan these grievances might worsen. Therefore we all should augment our humanitarian assistance efforts in this month of common solidarity in the Muslim world. In this connection we see merit in the suggestion of the TNC (Transitional National Council) for the release of three billion dollars from the frozen assets of Libya under U.N. supervision and equal distribution of this amount during Ramadan season to Tripoli and Benghazi on the condition that it will be only used for providing humanitarian assistance."
This has been the contact group’s fourth meeting since its establishment in March in London. IT is uncertain if Mr. Qaddafi will remain defiant, however it appears he will have no involvement in Libya’s future.
Franco Frattini - Italian Foreign Minister
Ahmet Davutoglu - Turkish Foreign Minister