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Greece Says Qaddafi Seeking Exit From Conflict


Libyan rebels pray at an area where they are engaged in street battles with forces loyal to Qaddafi near Brega on April 3.

Greece has announced that Libyan ruler Muammar Qaddafi's government is apparently seeking a way out of the conflict with rebels that have been fighting to end his government.

In another development, the United States has agreed to continue carrying out air strikes on Qaddafi targets through at least April 4 in response to a request from NATO, which is now in charge of the air campaign.

On April 3 in Athens, Qaddafi envoy Abdelati al-Obeidi held talks with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou.

Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas said after the meeting that it appears Qaddafi's regime is "seeking a solution."

“There is a need for a serious effort for peace, for stability in the region, and Greece will continue towards this effort, offering its services, and we are in contact will all our allies and partners,” Droutsas said. “We will update them on our meeting today and on Greece's thoughts and proposals."

Few other details of the talks were released publicly. The Greek foreign minister added that the Libyan envoy is expected to continue his contacts in Turkey.

Greece, which is both a European Union and NATO member, is seen as having good relations with the Qaddafi regime.

The U.S. Defense Department said American air strikes in Libya would continue through April 4, at NATO's request, because of what it described as "recent poor weather in Libya." No further details were given.

The U.S. military had earlier planned to begin withdrawing its combat jets and Tomahawk missiles from the air campaign from April 3.

The United Nations Security Council-mandated military intervention in Libya that began March 19 is aimed at protecting civilians caught up in the fighting between Qaddafi's forces and the rebels.

Neither the rebels nor Qaddafi's forces have so far been able to dominate fighting over control of eastern Libya, despite Western-led air strikes that have targeted Qaddafi's troops.

compiled from agency reports