Official silence on Libya talks and bombings

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Norway’s foreign and defense ministries continued to decline comment on reports that Oslo is among the cities where discussions are being held between representatives of the Gadhafi regime in Libya and Libyan opposition leaders. Nor would they discuss weekend bombings reported to have killed civilians.

A Russian diplomat told reporters late last week that talks between the two sides had been held in Tunisia, Paris, Berlin and Oslo. Kjetil Elsebutangen of Norway’s Foreign Ministry in Oslo would neither confirm nor deny the Russian diplomat’s claim.

“We don’t comment on questions tied to Norwegian involvement in peace or reconciliation processes,” Elsebutangen told news bureau NTB.

Meanwhile, Defense Ministry officials have said they’d be more open about Norwegian bombing raids over Libya, carried out in conjunction with NATO’s UN-backed military intervention in Libya. The Norwegian defense officials, however, wouldn’t comment on reports that NATO bombers struck a residential complex in Tripoli on Sunday, killing several civilians. The UN mandate is to protect civilians from Gadhafi, not kill them with NATO bombs.

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