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Africa
Libya 'dispatches emissaries'
Diplomats said to be holding talks with EU officials in Brussels while deputy defence minister arrives in Cairo.
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2011 20:46 GMT
Leaders of EU's member states will be meeting in Brussels to discuss the crisis in Libya in the coming days [EPA]

Libyan envoys are in talks with European Union officials in Brussels, the Belgian capital, while the Libyan deputy defence minister has arrived in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, reports say.

The delegation in Brussels is also expected to meet NATO officials in the coming days.

The European Union's 27 foreign ministers will be meeting in Brussels on Thursday in advance of a crisis summit on Libya.

Separately, defence ministers from the 28-member NATO alliance will also gather in Brussels to weigh options on Libya following calls for a no-fly zone to be enforced over the north African country.

"Certainly Colonel Gaddafi would want to try and stop that if at all possible and that's why we're seeing perhaps these diplomatic efforts," Al Jazeera's Alan Fisher, reporting from Brussels, said.

"We're hearing suggestions that Libyans may have been invited to Brussels for these talks by the White House. That still yet to be confirmed."

Earlier on Wednesday, at least three private jets belonging to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi took off from a military airstrip outside the capital, Tripoli.

Portugal meeting

One of the planes carried a delegation of Libyan officials who met senior officials in Malta before continuing to Portugal. 

A Libyan envoy met Portugal's foreign minister on Wednesday to explain Tripoli's view of the conflict in the country, the Portuguese foreign ministry said.

Portugal will chair the United Nations Security Council's committee on sanctions for Libya starting this week.

"Foreign Minister Luis Amado had an informal meeting in a Lisbon hotel with a Libyan emissary, on the request of the
latter, in order to receive information on the situation in Libya," a foreign ministry statement said.

The ministry did not name the envoy and did not provide further details of the meeting.

There were reports that Abdelrahman al-Zawi, the Libyan deputy defence minister on his way to Cairo, was carrying a message from Gaddafi and was to meet Amr Moussa, head of the Arab League.

The state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper said al-Zawi was to meet the military council which is ruling Egypt.

Al Jazeera's Ayman Mohyeldin, reporting from Cairo, said the private jet landed on a military airstrip around 1pm local time, carrying al-Zawi and another official.

"As soon as the plane landed, those on board ... were immediately whisked away by private cars," he said.

He said Essam Sharaf, the Egyptian prime minister, cut a cabinet meeting short to go to a meeting with the Egyptian military council.

The Arab League is due to meet on Saturday to discuss the possibility of imposing a no-fly zone over Libya. Libyan delegates have been barred from attending the League's meetings addressing the situation in the country.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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