China Says Libya Rebel Chief to Visit

China is continuing to conduct diplomacy with both sides in the ongoing Libya conflict, and will host the head of the rebel group next week. From Reuters:

The leader of the Libyan rebels’ National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, will visit China for two days from Tuesday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a single sentence statement on its website (www.mfa.gov.cn).

China has not taken a firm side in the war between Gaddafi’s forces and the opposition groups now encroaching on the Libyan capital, Tripoli, and has said its recent meetings with Libyan government and rebel representatives are part of an effort to encourage a ceasefire and negotiated end to the war.

But courting the rebels so openly has marked a policy adjustment for China, which while never a close ally of Gaddafi, generally avoids wading into other nations’ domestic conflicts.

Beijing this month hosted Libya’s Foreign Minister Abdelati Obeidi, and China said its door was also open to rebel National Transitional Council.

Last month, the Libyan Foreign Minister visited Beijing.

June 19, 2011 10:25 PM
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