Kremlin says ready for dialog with all Libyan forces, except futureless
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Russia was ready to conduct dialog with all political forces in Libya that have future, the Kremlin press service said on Wednesday.
Late on Tuesday, Medvedev held a phone conversation with his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma, who met with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on Monday, RIA Novosti reported.
During the conversation, the Russian president "stressed the necessity and readiness to conduct dialog with all forces in Libya that have political future," the Kremlin said.
The two heads of states expressed hope that coordination of mediation efforts by Russia, South Africa and the African Union will contribute to the soonest return of the Libyan state to the path of peaceful and stable development.
When leaving Tripoli on Monday, Zuma said the Libyan leader was still ready for ceasefire and negotiations proposed by the African Union last month and rejected by the rebel government.
A revolution which began in mid-February in Libya against Muammar Gaddafi's forty-year rule has already claimed thousands of lives, with Gaddafi's troops maintaining their combat capabilities despite NATO airstrikes against them.
Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said on Tuesday a total of 718 civilians were killed since NATO airstrikes on the country began on March 19. More than four thousand were injured, 433 of them are still in critical condition.
NATO denied civilian casualty reports by the Libyan government, saying its airstrikes are targeted only against military infrastructure and equipment.