Obama administration officials, who were waiting to be briefed, said they had no comment on the plans. Obeidi, a former Libyan prime minister, has emerged in recent days as Gaddafi’s diplomatic point man.
In Benghazi, the de facto capital of the Libyan opposition, a Turkish ferry arrived carrying hundreds of people, many of them wounded fighters, from the western city of Misurata, where rebel forces have been under siege by Gaddafi loyalists.
The ship, traveling under the protection of Turkish military fighter jets and naval vessels, stopped in Benghazi to pick up more wounded en route to Turkey.
Droutsas said Obeidi planned to travel from Athens to Turkey, for meetings with government officials, and then to Malta, according to a report by the official Athens News Agency. The meeting with Papandreou, the Greek official said, had been arranged in a telephone call from Tripoli on Friday.
“On our part,” Droutsas said in a statement, “we underlined, we reiterated the clear message of the international community: full respect and implementation of the UN resolutions, immediate cease-fire, to end violence and hostilities, particularly against civilians in Libya. Judging from the emissary’s words, it seems that the regime is also searching [for] a solution.”
Obeidi told reporters in Tripoli on Friday, “We are trying to talk to the British, the French and the Americans to stop the killing of people. We are trying to find a mutual solution.”
Numerous Libyan officials are said to be in contact with Western officials, although it remains unclear who among them are seeking to leave the government and who are representing it. Libyan Foreign Minister Musa Kusa defected last week to Britain, and a close aide to Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, met with British officials with a reported proposal from the Libyan leader to cede power to his sons.
The Obama administration and its allies and partners in the Libya operation have shown little interest in such offers. President Obama has described his demand for Gaddafi’s departure as a political objective, while the goal of the international military coalition, acting under the authorization of the United Nations, is to stop the violence and protect Libyan civilians.
Although NATO took over command of the Libya operation last week, some members have said that they would participate only in the noncombat aspects of the intervention.
U.S. officials have become increasingly resigned to the possibility of a military standoff on the ground, with opposition forces, under the protection of coalition airstrikes and a no-fly zone, holding the eastern part of the country while Gaddafi’s forces remain in control of the west.