Davutoğlu was also expected to hold talks with Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf and Foreign Minister Nabil al-Arabi after Today’s Zaman went into print. In addition to Libya, developments regarding Egypt and Palestine will be on the agenda of talks between Davutoğlu, Sharaf and Arabi, the Anatolia news agency reported.
Davutoğlu’s visit came after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared last Thursday, a roadmap to end the war in Libya through measures that would include the withdrawal of Muammar Gaddafi’s forces from some cities. Erdoğan announced the three-point plan at a press conference late on Thursday. According to the plan, which Erdoğan said would be discussed at a meeting in Qatar by the international Libya contact group set up to guide the international intervention in Libya, an immediate cease-fire must be achieved, and Gaddafi’s forces should retreat from besieged cities.
Second, secure zones should be created for the unimpeded flow of humanitarian aid, and third, a comprehensive transition process toward democracy should begin immediately. “Solid steps must immediately be taken toward a constitutional political change process, following a real cease-fire,” Erdoğan said.
While the contact group meeting is scheduled to take place on Wednesday in the Qatari capital, Doha, the Arab League’s headquarters in Cairo will on Thursday host an international meeting on Libya that will be chaired by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
The event in Cairo will involve Moussa; Jean Ping, chairman of the Commission of the African Union; Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, secretary-general of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC); and Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign affairs chief.
In Ajdabiya, Libya, on Saturday, government soldiers and rebel gunmen battled in the streets of the key front-line city after the Libyan military used shelling and guerrilla-style tactics to open its most serious push into opposition territory since international airstrikes began. NATO airstrikes, meanwhile, hammered at Gaddafi’s ammunition stockpiles and armored forces, destroying 17 tanks. At least eight people were killed in the fighting over Ajdabiya, a hospital official said.
A Turkish ship, meanwhile, docked in Misrata to bring home Egyptians stranded in Libya’s third-largest city, Egypt’s deputy foreign minister, Mohammed Abdel-Hakam, said over the weekend. A second Turkish ship was expected Sunday.
Itinerary: Budapest, Strasbourg, Doha, Berlin
Davutoğlu was scheduled to leave Cairo on Sunday night and come back to Ankara. Today, he is expected to pay a visit to Hungary, which holds the six-month rotating presidency of the EU, for a bilateral visit. He plans to proceed to Strasbourg from Budapest in order to have talks with Council of Europe (CoE) officials and attend meetings of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) as part of a spring session that will discuss a wide range of policy issues facing Europe on April 11-15.
Turkey holds the rotating chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, the decision-making body of the 47-nation CoE. The Turkish chairmanship began on Nov. 10, 2010, and is due to last until May 11, 2011. Following Strasbourg, Davutoğlu is expected to travel to Doha and Berlin.