ANKARA - Turkey said on Tuesday it was hopeful that Western and Arab governments working with Libyan rebels could forge the framework of a political solution by next month to help bring an end to the Libyan conflict.
"We hope for significant progress towards a political solution before the month of Ramadan," Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a news conference after meeting with the Libyan rebel leader. The Muslim fasting month of Ramadan is expected to start in early August.
Davutoglu's comments came amid a flurry of reports about talks on Muammar Gaddafi ending his 41 years in power in exchange for security guarantees. Earlier on Tuesday, a Libyan government spokesman denied Gaddafi was seeking safe refuge inside or outside the country. Istanbul is set to host a contact group meeting on July 15, bringing together foreign ministers from Western powers and Arab governments, along with leaders of the Libyan opposition National Transitional Council as part of an international effort to bring stability to a post-Gaddafi Libya.
In preparation for that meeting, Davutoglu met with Mahmoud Jebril, leader of the Libyan rebel administration, Abdelilah Al-Khatib, the UN secretary-general's special envoy to Libya, and United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan.