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Turkey meets Libyan rebels, tells Qaddafi to quit

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, with Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, head of Libyan rebels' National Transitional Cou

Source : Reuters
ANKARA | 23 May 2011

Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi should quit in order to allow a peaceful transition of power, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Monday, standing alongside the head of Libya’s revolutionary movement.

A major Muslim partner in NATO, Turkey earlier this month proposed a timetable for a cease-fire that could allow a political transition to take place.

“During this transition process a cease-fire should be established and Qaddafi should leave the leadership,” Davutoglu told a joint news conference with Mustafa Abdul Jaleel, head of the Libyan national transitional council.

Davutoglu said the council is “a legal and credible representative of the Libyan people.”

A Turkish foreign ministry official told journalists after the news conference that this did not mean Turkey recognized the council as sole representative of the Libyan people.

Jaleel, who also met Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul, said Turkey’s proposed road map encapsulated the Libyan people’s demands, including for Qaddafi and his family to leave.

He said Turkey’s involvement disproved Qaddafi’s claims that NATO’s actions in Libya were part of a Western crusade.

“The main aim of this operation is to protect civilians,” Jaleel said. “This is not a crusade.”

“Our objective is a political solution for the bloodshed to stop, but that depends on the condition that Qaddafi and his family leave.”


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