China says envoy from Libyan rebels to visit

By the Associated Press | June 9, 2011 | 2:11 AM EDT

BEIJING (AP) — China's Foreign Ministry says envoys from Libya's main opposition group will visit the country soon.

Chen Xiaodong of the ministry's West Asian and North African Affairs Department said Thursday that China is ready to receive a visit from representatives of the National Transitional Council, according to state-run Xinhua News Agency.

Chen says the visit will happen in the "near future" but he did not say exactly when.

Chen says China has recently stepped up efforts to persuade the two sides of the conflict in Libya to seek a settlement.

Libya's foreign minister visited Beijing this week for talks with Chinese officials, and Chinese diplomats in Qatar have met with the leader of the transitional council.