April 7, 2011
A former US lawmaker with prior dealings with Moamer Kadhafi was in Tripoli Wednesday on a private mission seeking a peace deal that would include the departure of the Libyan strongman.
Curt Weldon, a Republican representative from Pennsylvania from 1987 to 2007, said in a New York Times column that he was in Libya “as the leader of a small private delegation, at the invitation of Colonel Kadhafi’s chief of staff and with the knowledge of the Obama administration and members of Congress from both parties.”
“Our purpose is to meet with Colonel Kadhafi today and persuade him to step aside,” he said.
State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Weldon “did inform us of his plans to travel” to Libya, but added “he’s not there on our behalf” and “is not carrying a message” from US President Barack Obama’s administration.