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Britain, France Urge Libyans to Drop Gadhafi Before It's 'Too Late'

British Prime Minister David Cameron (file photo)
British Prime Minister David Cameron (file photo)

Britain and France are urging Libyans to drop leader Moammar Gadhafi before it is, in their words, "too late."

British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy issued a joint statement Monday calling on all Libyans who believe that Gadhafi is leading them into disaster to form a transition process.

NATO officials say arming Libyan rebels is not an option, even if coalition airstrikes are allowing the rebels to advance on government-controlled areas.

NATO commanders said they are not taking sides in the conflict. They say their sole mission is to protect civilians as spelled out by the U.N. Security Council resolution.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday that the coalition attacks on pro-Gadhafi forces are not sanctioned by the U.N. resolution.

Lavrov called the international actions intervention in a civil war. Russia abstained from the vote on the resolution.

Meanwhile, Turkey says it is poised to broker a political settlement in Libya. Diplomat Selim Yenel says Turkish officials are holding talks with both the Libyan government and the rebels. He says Turkey is one of the few countries that can negotiate with both sides.

Yenel says a diplomatic solution is the only way out.

Egypt's state news agency reported that the Arab League says it desires to see an end to military operations in Libya so a political solution can be reached.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, Bloomberg and Reuters.