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Russian official claims Qaddafi willing to cede power in Libya

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President Zuma, a vocal opponent to the NATO intervention, has offered to serve as a mediator, The New York Times reports. Moscow's unofficial channel to Libya, the president of the World Chess Federation, made a second trip to Tripoli at the same time to meet with Qaddafi, who told him he would not agree to any settlement that ordered his departure from the country.

Russia's negotiation efforts have increased since a meeting with President Obama in May. The Times writes that Qaddafi is a "major buyer" of Russian weapons and President Dmitry Medvedev agreed to use his country's leverage with Qaddafi to try to convince him to cede power.

The report also follows possible negotiation meetings between the Libyan government and the rebels that the rebels deny are happening. The National Transitional Council's head, Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, said no negotiations between the two governments were taking place and also said earlier reports that the rebels would allow Qaddafi to remain in the country were false, the Associated Press reports. In Tripoli, Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim told reporters that his government has been talking with rebel officials for two months, although he acknowledged that there are several members opposed to talks.

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