OIC launches Libya mediation effort

AFP , Wednesday 22 Jun 2011

The Organization of Islamic Conference sends a high level delegation to Libya to mediate between the Gaddafi's regime and the National Transitional Council

The Organisation of the Islamic Conference said on Wednesday it has sent a delegation to Libya to pave the way for mediation by the group to solve the crisis in the North African state.

The OIC has "offered an initiative for mediation during the next two days with regard to the crisis in Libya," a statement said.

Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu "dispatched a high-level political delegation to Libya to get to know the reality on the ground and developments taking place," it added.

The mission, led by the head of the OIC's political department, Mahdi Fathalla, will hold "consultations with the concerned parties in Libya and discuss some ideas on the Libyan issue which the OIC secretary general had already discussed with the Europeans during his recent European tour," it said.

The delegation will also meet officials in Tripoli and members of the National Transitional Council (NTC) based in the eastern Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi, said the largest Muslim grouping.

Forces loyal to Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi are embroiled in a battle with rebels looking to end his rule after more than four decades.

The West has thrown its diplomatic and financial support behind the NTC, which has been recognised by about a dozen countries.

The announcement comes ahead of June 28-30 meeting of OIC foreign ministers in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Based in the Saudi Red-Sea city of Jeddah, the OIC has 57 members, including Libya.

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