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Libya's premier says he's ready to talk to rebels

By Diaa Hadid

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, May 26 2011 10:05 a.m. MDT

Rebel fighters cross the front line between Libyan rebel forces and Moammar Gadhafi's forces, 25 km west from Misrata, Libya, Thursday, May 26, 2011. Spain says it and other European governments have received a message from Libyan Prime Minister Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi proposing an immediate cease-fire in his country's war.

Rodrigo Abd, Associated Press

TRIPOLI, Libya — Libya's government is pushing a new cease-fire proposal and said for the first time it was prepared to speak with its rebel adversaries.

Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi's comments suggest the government could be ready to make concessions after more than three months of fighting, NATO strikes and increasing international pressure.

The prime minister said at a news conference in Tripoli on Thursday that he was willing to hold talks with "all Libyans," including members of the rebel administration.

Officials from Moammar Gadhafi's regime previously said they would not speak to the rebel government, saying it did not represent Libyans.

The rebels have insisted that Gadhafi relinquish power before any cease-fire can be considered.

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