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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia, China to take part in Paris talks on Libya

RIA Novosti

14:10 31/08/2011 BEIJING, August 31 (RIA Novosti) - China and Russia will send its envoys to the international conference of "friends of Libya," which will take place in Paris on September 1, the Chinese Foreign Ministry and Russian presidential envoy to Africa said on Wednesday.

The conference that was backed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron will comprise 60 foreign delegations of countries portraying themselves as "friends of Libya," who are set to discuss the country's future after Muammar Gaddafi's era.

"China supports the efforts ... of restoring peace and stability in Libya and contributing to the gradual change of political power in the country," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Ma Zhaoxu said in a statement.

The head of the Russian upper house's international affairs committee, Mikhail Margelov, confirmed that Moscow had received an invitation to the Paris talks.

Margelov said the conference is aimed at setting up grounds for “the new international assistance for Libyan citizens” and restoration of the country.

The UN Security Council must play the key role in Libya’s peace talks, though “it does not prohibit our country from participating in international forums on Libyan peace restoration,” the Russian diplomat said.

Sarkozy said last week that among the countries invited to the talks are the Contact Group on Libya member states, including participants in the NATO-led military operation and representatives of the United Nations, the Arab League and the African Union, as well as China, Russia, India and Brazil that have expressed concerns over the operation.

Ahead of the Paris meeting, France proposed renaming the Contact Group into the Group of Friends of Libya.

The talks in Paris will take place amid dramatic developments in Libya, where rebels have established control over most of the capital, Tripoli. Gaddafi himself has fled his compound in Tripoli and his whereabouts remain unknown.

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