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Libyan Opposition Leader Welcomes Russia's New Position Against Qadhafi

BENGHAZI, Libya, May 28 (Xinhua) --

Chairman of Libyan opposition's National Transitional Council (CNT) on Saturday hailed the new "position displayed" by Russia which now claims the departure of Libyan leader Mu'ammar Qadhafi, and comes in mediating the conflict in Libya.

"We welcome the position shown by the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev," said Mustafa Abdul Jalil in a press statement in Benghazi, the opposition's base.

"We believe the role of Russia in international affairs, but these relations must take place in a mutual interest and mutual respect," Jalil added.

At the G8 summit in France on Friday, Medvedev demanded the departure of Gaddafi by posing itself as a mediator in a war threatening to move toward stalemate.

"The world community no longer sees him as the Libyan leader," said Russian President Dmitry Medvedev after the summit.

Traditionally opposed to any interference, Russia has raised its reluctance to openly demand the departure of a head of state in functions and has offered to mediate.

"I offered our mediation with our partners," Medvedev said. " Everybody thinks it will be useful," he said, announcing the imminent dispatch of an emissary to Benghazi.

EU welcomes defection of Libyan ambassador

BRUSSELS, May 26, 2011 (Xinhua) --

The European Union (EU) on Thursday welcomed the decision by the Libyan Ambassador to the bloc "to sever links with the Gaddafi regime", saying other senior officials of the regime should follow suit.

Al Hadi Hadeiba, the Libyan Ambassador to the European Union and the Benelux, announced earlier Thursday that he was defecting along with all his staff from the Tripoli government.

"We have been in contact with him (Al Hadi Hadeiba) and praise his courageous decision to work for a democratic Libya and a better future for the Libyan people," EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton was quoted by her office.

She said the EU looked forward to remaining in close contact with Al Hadi Hadeiba.

Al Hadi Hadeiba is the latest high-profile official to defect from the Gaddafi-led government, after Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa turned against Tripoli and flew to Britain in March.

"Those at the top of the Gaddafi regime have a choice: stay with Gaddafi and face rejection by their fellow citizens and the international community," said an EU statement following Hadeiba's defection, "Or support efforts to ensure that the hopes and expectations of the Libyan people are realized through democracy and a process that allows all Libyans to come together and decide on their future."

Nevertheless, more than three months into the unrest in the oil-rich North African country, there is still no quick end in sight for the military deadlock as Gaddafi has showed no signs of giving in, despite increasingly fierce NATO air attacks on Tripoli.

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