US backs Russian mediation in Libya

WASHINGTON – The United States says it is prepared to support Russia’s mediation efforts in Libya, as France signals its frustration with the lack of progress in reaching a political solution to the crisis, Voice of America reported. U.S. President Barack Obama thanked Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for his country’s negotiation efforts in Libya, and said the United States supports talks that lead to a democratic transition and the departure of leader Moammar Gadhafi.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe meanwhile told a French radio station Tuesday the Libyan government has sent envoys to several countries to say Gadhafi is “ready to go.” France has said it sent messages to the Libyan government saying Gadhafi must step down as part of any political solution to the five-month conflict with opposition forces fighting to end his 42-year rule. The French National Assembly was due to hold a vote yesterday on whether to continue military intervention in Libya. The debate and vote were a formality: under French constitutional rules, parliament must formally reconsider any military intervention that lasts more than four months. The vote was widely expected to favour continued in­ter­vention, according to France24.

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