VALLETTA (Reuters) - Maltese Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi told Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Abdelati Obeidi on Monday that Muammar Gaddafi and his family must relinquish power.
Obeidi, an envoy from the Libyan, flew to Malta following talks with government officials in Greece and Turkey on ways to end the Libyan conflict.
“The Prime Minister reiterated the Maltese government’s position that the resolutions of the United Nations must be respected, that the Gaddafi government must step down, that Colonel Gaddafi and his family should leave and there should be an immediate ceasefire and a process to enable the Libyan people to make its democratic choices,” the government said in a statement.
Gonzi earlier also expressed “disgust” with what was happening in Libya’s third largest city Misrata, which is being pounded by Gaddafi forces.
Malta has stayed out of the United Nations-mandated military actions against Tripoli but has sent humanitarian aid to Misrata on trawlers.
Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, who had spoken to Greek officials, dismissed Obeidi’s message, saying a divided Libya was not acceptable and Gaddafi must quit.
Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas said in a statement after his meeting with Obeidi: “From the Libyan envoy’s comments, it appears that the regime is seeking a solution.”
A Greek government official said diplomatic efforts included exploring how a ceasefire could be arranged, but described the situation as “very difficult” and said there was “a lot of mistrust on both sides.”
The official said Greece was seeking solutions that could “help the first step” and that the “channels of communication” would remain open.
Reporting by Chris Scicluna; Editing by Louise Ireland