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Australian FM to attend Libya talks in Paris


10:53, August 31, 2011

CANBERRA, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- Australian Acting Foreign Minister Craig Emerson on Wednesday confirmed he will join world leaders at a meeting with Libyan pro-democracy representatives in Paris of France.

Emerson will join French President Nicolas Sarkozy, United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the meeting with the Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) on Thursday.

Emerson said the meeting would discuss Libya's transition to democracy.

"The government urges Muammar Gaddafi to give himself up and for his forces to put down their weapons and stop the senseless bloodshed," he said in a statement released on Wednesday.

Rebels in Libya have issued a Saturday deadline for cities still held by forces loyal to fallen leader Muammar Gaddafi to throw in the towel or face a military onslaught.

NTC said talks are underway with officials in towns including Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte to arrange their peaceful surrender.

Australia is the third largest humanitarian donor to Libya.


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