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Libya's NTC head denies talks with Gaddafi regime

(Xinhua)

09:25, August 17, 2011

BENGHAZI, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- Head of Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) Mustafa Abdul Jalil said Tuesday the rebels did not have any type of contacts and will not hold talks with the regime of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

The NTC did not have "direct or indirect" contacts with the Gaddafi regime, said Jalil, who also noted there are no talks with the United Nations special envoy on Libya Abdul Ilah al-Khatib either.

If there are any talks, the NTC should be the only legitimate representative of Libya to participate, Jalil said.

However, Jalil said the NTC welcome people defecting from the Gaddafi side, and promised democracy to the Libyan people.

As fighting raged for the rebels in east and west fronts, reports of rebel-Gaddafi negotiations in Tunisia had sparked public concern.

"There are no negotiations or talks between the Gaddafi regime and the NTC," said National Transition Council Vice Chairman Abdel Hafiz Ghoga in an exclusive interview with Xinhua on Monday.

Earlier, reports said representatives of the two warring sides had met in Djerba, near the Tunisian-Libyan border.

The United Nations also denied its special envoy on Libya, Abdul Ilah al-Khatib, was involved with the talks in Tunisia.

"The United Nations has no concrete information on any talks which may be held in Tunisia between the National Transition Council and authorities from Tripoli and the special envoy is not participating in such talks," UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq was quoted by Monday's media reports as saying.

On Monday, after entering Zawiyah city, about 40 km west of the capital Tripoli, Libya's rebels threatened to isolate Tripoli by blocking key supply routes and cutting oil pipelines after the advance put them in the strongest position since the six-month-old civil war began to attack Tripoli.

On the east front, the two sides are battling over the strategic port city of Brega.

Also on Monday, Libyan government forces had fired a Scud missile to Brega for the first time in this year's conflict with rebels, which Jalil verified at the press conference.

Although western supporters of Libyan rebels claim Gaddafi's " days are numbered" given recent rebel gains, Jalil said the time when the national liberation could be reached is at the hand of God.

Further, Jalil said democracy is consistent with the nation's Islamic belief and he believes the Libyan people could find the best way to exercise democratic rights.

After national liberation, the election will be held nationwide as soon as possible and the NTC will exist no more than eight months, he said.

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