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Published: Monday, 7/18/2011

U.S. officials meet with Gadhafi representatives


WASHINGTON — A State Department official says U.S. officials have met with representatives of longtime Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s government.

The official says the purpose of the meeting was to deliver a clear and firm message that the only way forward in Libya is for Gadhafi to step down. The official says the meeting was not a negotiation session.

The official did not say what day the meeting occurred, but said it came after the U.S. announced Friday that it was officially recognizing Libya’s main opposition group as the country’s legitimate government, giving the rebel movement a major boost.

The official says the U.S. has no plans to meet with regime representatives again. The official was not authorized to discuss the meeting publicly and requested anonymity.

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