March 9, 2011 / 7:59 PM / in 7 years

Sarkozy to meet rebel Libyan envoys

* French govt. pursues relations with Libyan rebel leaders

* Libya’s Gaddafi makes EU diplomatic push ahead of summit

PARIS, March 9 (Reuters) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy is to meet on Thursday with two envoys from Libya’s rebel leadership, on the eve of a European Union summit, his office said on Wednesday.

The Elysee presidential palace said the meeting with the two Libyans would provide a “chance to discuss the general situation in Libya, and in particular the humanitarian situation and the actions of the Libyan National Council.”

France and Britain last week called the emergency EU summit on Friday to work on a humanitarian and political response to the crisis in Libya. [ID:nLDE71R2ID]

The two countries have spearheaded efforts to get United Nations authority for a no-fly zone over Libya, although Western allies have appeared divided on both the idea and how it would be implemented. [ID:nLDE72713B]

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has also dispatched emissaries to foreign capitals ahead of the EU summit, with one envoy meeting on Wednesday with Portuguese Foreign Minister Luis Amado. [ID:nLDE7282HL]

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said Libyan government emissaries also appeared to have flown to Brussels to talk to EU and NATO officials. [ID:nLDE72822H]

An Elysee official said France had received no requests to meet with Gaddafi’s envoys and that in any case “there is not a lot of enthusiasm” to meet with them. (Reporting by Yann Le Guernigou and Emmanuel Jarry; Writing by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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