The Envoy

Former Rep. Weldon in Libya to meet Gadhafi

The Envoy

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Former Pennsylvania Congressman Curt Weldon is in Libya to try to persuade Muammar Gadhafi to step down. CNN  reports:

Former U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon said he is set to meet with Moammar Gadhafi on Wednesday in an attempt to persuade Libya's embattled ruler to step down.

Weldon will also meet Wednesday with Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Khalid Khaim, the Republican from Pennsylvania told CNN on Wednesday. ...

Weldon told CNN that in addition to Gadhafi stepping down, he is proposing a cease-fire on both sides; a withdrawal of government forces from key cities; no further advances by rebel forces; a joint interim government run by Libya's current prime minister and the an opposition leader; unfettered humanitarian access; and the establishment of a parliamentary commission that would include American, Middle Eastern, European and African politicians helping to establish a new parliament in Libya.

(I covered some of Weldon's far-flung diplomatic adventures during the Bush era, including his bid to get the CIA to work with the controversial Iran contra arms dealer Manucher Ghorbanifar. The ten-term Republican lawmaker lost his seat in 2006 after coming under FBI investigation for corruption, though he was never indicted.)

Separately, the White House confirmed Wednesday that President Barack Obama had received a letter from Gadhafi  -- apparently one of several Gadhafi has sent. Officials didn't seem to think there's much interesting in the Libyan leader's correspondence.

Update: Wired's Noah Shachtman writes that Weldon has traveled repeatedly to Libya the past few years on the dime of the Gadhafi foundation, and once proposed an arms deal there -- facts Shachtman argues the New York Times should have disclosed when it published Weldon's op-ed today.

(Former Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.), appears in a debate in Drexel Hill, Pa., in this Oct. 6, 2006, file photo.: George Widman/AP Photo)

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