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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Libya Contact Group to meet in Istanbul

RIA Novosti

07:55 15/07/2011 ANKARA, July 15 (RIA Novosti) - The Libya Contact Group will hold its fourth meeting in Istanbul on Friday to discuss ways to politically settle the Libyan crisis, including on the basis of a Turkey-drafted road map, the Turkish Foreign Ministry reported.

Ankara's roadmap on Libya, announced by Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan in April, envisions an immediate ceasefire by the Muammar Gaddafi regime, lifting the blockade of Libyan cities and launching the process of democratic reforms while making the transition to a constitutional democracy.

The contact group comprises some 40 countries, as well as UN, Arab League and African Union representatives. The group that meets to discuss international mediation efforts in Libya has already held meetings in Doha, Rome and Abu Dhabi.

Neither Russia, nor China will attend the Istanbul meeting.

The Russian Foreign Ministry earlier said the main efforts used by the contact group "are directed toward the support of [only] one of the sides in the continuing civil conflict in Libya."

Libya has been rocked by fighting between Gaddafi supporters and opponents since mid-February.

An international military operation in Libya began on March 19, following a UN resolution authorizing countries "to take all necessary measures" to help protect Libyan civilians from attacks by Gaddafi forces, and was extended until late September.

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