Officials of the U.S. government have held direct talks with envoys of Moammar Gaddafi’s regime, according to the U.S. State Department.

American officials repeated its demand that Gaddafi step down immediately from power and that no negotiations were involved in the talks.

In a statement, the US state department said: The message was simple and unambiguous - Gaddafi must leave power so that a new political process can begin that reflects the will and aspirations of the Libyan people.”

On the Tripoli side, a spokesman for the Libyan regime said it endorsed talks with Washington as long as no pre-conditions were involved.

We support any dialogue, any peace initiative as long as they don't decide Libya's future from without, Moussa Ibrahim, a spokesman for Libyan government, told journalists in Tripoli.

“We will discuss everything but do not condition your peace talks. Let the Libyans decide their future.”

While the U.S. declined to reveal where these talks were held, while Libyan sources claimed they took place in Tunisia on Saturday morning.

Washington also revealed that the U.S. assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, and Gene Cretz, the US ambassador to Libya, participated in the talks, but would not discuss who represented the Libyans.

BBC reported that Libyan representatives of Gaddafi have also had meetings with French officials in the town of Djerba in Tunisia. Apparently, France is insisting that Gaddafi go into exile as part of any peace resolution.