Obama Supports Russian Mediation in Libya

July 12, 2011 - 5:01 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says President Barack Obama told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that the U.S. is prepared to support Russian-led negotiations in Libya.

However, Obama told the Russian president the U.S. would only back the negotiations if they lead to a democratic transition and longtime Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi steps aside.

Medvedev has joined the West in urging Gadhafi to step down, and envoys from the Kremlin have traveled to Libya to meet with representatives of Gadhafi's government.

Obama and Medvedev spoke Monday. Obama also expressed his condolences for the sinking of an aging cruise ship on a river near Moscow. As many as 129 people were killed in the incident.

The two leaders also discussed Sudan, Afghanistan and Russia's pending accession to the World Trade Organization.