News24

Gaddafi 'begged Italy's help in letter'

2011-10-26 07:38

Paris - Deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi wrote to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in August begging him to halt a Nato-led intervention that was helping a rebel uprising drive him from power, French weekly Paris Match reported.

If authentic, the missive reveals Gaddafi's desperation as, days after going on the run, he reached out to a man who had been a close friend and his most solid ally in Europe until Italy joined the West's campaign to back Libyan rebels.

The magazine's website showed a copy of the letter, dated August 05 and in printed Arabic, with handwritten lines scrawled on it, purportedly by Gaddafi and marked to the attention of his aide Abdallah Mansour. It read: "Send on this message as coming from me, by means of this document, after correction."

The words "new friends" at the bottom were then crossed out and "friends and allies" written above it in the same hand.

Gaddafi was buried on Friday in a secret location in the Sahara desert, after being shot last week.

In the missive, Gaddafi reproached Berlusconi, with whom he had developed a warm and jovial friendship over several years, for not intervening to help him and reminds him of the pact of friendship between the two countries.

"I have been surprised by the attitude of a friend with whom I have sealed a treaty of friendship that benefits both our nations," the letter read. "I would have hoped that at least you would have been concerned at the facts and would have attempted a mediation before adding your support to this war."

Disastrous action

Berlusconi said in a speech to supporters in September that had felt "very bad" about switching sides in April and joining the Nato campaign to oust his old friend from power. He said he had even considered resigning over the issue.

It is not clear whether the letter ever reached Berlusconi, who appealed to Gaddafi on August 22 to end his resistance to avoid further bloodshed in Libya. There was no immediate comment available from Berlusconi's office on Friday.

Paris Match magazine said the letter had been delivered to Berlusconi's office by an Italian couple that had become friends of Gaddafi as they run an agency that provided personnel for conferences Gaddafi held on his trips to Rome.

The letter went on to say that it was not too late for Italy to change direction and protect Gaddafi, and that he and his supporters were ready to turn the page on relations with Italy.

"I do not blame you for things you are not responsible for because I am well aware that you were not in favour of this disastrous action which honours neither you nor the Italian people," the letter read.

Comments
  • Burtfred - 2011-10-26 07:53

    There is no honour amongst thieves.

  • Thulebona - 2011-10-26 08:04

    It's kind of hard to feel sorry for Gaddafi, he could have just left...

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2011-10-26 08:35

      "hey , i should step down down and call elections for the good of Libya" he just couldn't do that and let go of power after 42yrs.

      Merven - 2011-10-27 14:07

      Well said Thulebona, Gaddafi had more than enough time to surrender.

  • Walter - 2011-10-26 08:09

    Appeals by a despot deserves no sympathy and, having read so many negative reports about Berlusconi, I'm not surprised he was a "good friend" of the ruthless tyrant. Funny how the Ities change their spots.... different shades of yellow!

      Frank - 2011-10-26 18:12

      You are a true corrupt loyalist of anything NATO and its evil us/uk empire.

  • phinda.buthelezi - 2011-10-26 08:19

    Funny how ppl that think that God made them to rule 4ever die in such a way. God loves his ppl, not ppl who want to be God.

  • Malcolm - 2011-10-26 08:26

    Berlusconi just switch sides from the side of one tyrant, to the side of many Western tyrants. The powers that control the direction of the world are mostly evil. The simple man in the street has no interest in unrest and war. It is normally people in power that use propoganda, and false promises, to entice predominantly underprivledged and uneducated people to rise up and fight for a cause that will only benefit the leaders. This is the modus operandi by which the likes of western leaders & Julius Malema operate.

  • Gavin - 2011-10-26 08:42

    wish magabe would read some of these comments!!

  • khwezi.mngoma - 2011-10-26 09:07

    The guy could have just left office, settled somewhere and had himself a long party life.

      Shonaphy - 2011-10-26 09:21

      settle with what? they took all his money saying it belonged to the libyian people.mxm im not saying they are wrong all im saying is lots of ppl all over the world and in SA are sitting with ppl's money/property and i dont c that money being taken frm them.

      wesleywt - 2011-10-26 10:00

      He has billions in overseas bank accounts. He would have retired quite nicely. Stop feeling sorry for him.

      Jack - 2011-10-26 10:21

      The interesting thing is that Gadaffi chose a bloody death in his home town. To some that points to a person who had more loyalty to his cause that one who chose to run away to some Gulf state. Unlike Mugabe, Gadaffi ran a country with no debt, with the best health and education metrics in Africa and which was crime-free. Now watch what happens.

      Eugene - 2011-10-26 23:25

      Good point, he could have left Libya, but chose to stay until the bitter end. I btw. don't expect things to turn out better from now for Libyans. Not that I think that things under Gadaffi were remotely perfect.

  • zoellick - 2011-10-26 12:39

    i feel xory for the man qadaffi..but its of no use now,,he is dead..what a pity he died like a rat in a tunnell..sob!

  • Elvis Nkemasong - 2011-10-26 13:01

    Even Italians are tired of silvio, he is just like Gaddafi

  • Alan - 2011-10-26 13:21

    You can't blame the Italians. The letter was intercepted, stolen and made it's way to France. How gullible are people really?

  • Ahmed - 2011-10-26 14:30

    An Israeli intelligence source says US and British forces had surrounded the hideout of former Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi two weeks before he was captured and killed. On Monday, the Israeli intelligence news service DEBKA quoted US sources as saying that American drones kept the building in Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte under surveillance, while it was surrounded by US and British forces. The DEBKA underlined that both the US and the UK had boots on the ground in breach of the UN mandate which allowed the implementation of a no-fly zone over Libya. In addition, the intelligence news service's special report said some of the accounts of Gaddafi's last days suggest that he abandoned the precautions which kept him safe for years and was not afraid to use the satellite and cell phones which gave his position away. Gaddafi was captured and killed on Thursday by the revolutionaries after NATO warplanes targeted his convoy west of Sirte. The news comes as US, French and German officials compete to claim credit for locating Gaddafi's convoy. The Israeli report confirms that, working through NATO, US President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy managed to finish off Gaddafi.

      Alan - 2011-10-26 17:12

      German? I thought I read that the Germans wanted nothing to do with the NATO raids on Libya?

  • Musa - 2011-10-26 15:06

    This Italian traitor betrayed Gaddafi. You won't rest traitor, I wish he visits you every night to haunt you. Italian job indeed!

  • Chocobutter - 2011-10-26 15:34

    Libya will never be the same again,I feel sorry for all Libyan people there will never be revolution,Everyone is after oil....

      Alan - 2011-10-26 17:18

      If that is true, the oil part that everyone keeps shouting about, as far as I understand they only produce about 2% of the worlds oil. Surely it's not enough to sustain the west?

      Merven - 2011-10-27 14:18

      'Libya will never be the same again' - you got that right, good riddance for bad rubbish I think the saying goes? I agree Alan, there is much more profitable countries out their to target than Libya.

  • Musa - 2011-10-26 15:45

    The western imperialists are interested in Libyan oil, not the people of Libya. These traitors who were given guns to destroy their own country will one day wake up to face this reality. You just cannot trust the imperialists.

  • Angus - 2011-10-26 16:00

    So Gadaffi is dead and buried somewhere in the desert in an unmarked grave and another country (with all its riches) is in the hands of the High Priests of War. It obviously depends on which reports you look at, but the US cost of the war in Libya came to about $1 Billion dollars...that is $1000 million over a period of about eight months of NATO intervention. One Billion Dollars...not bad considering that the war in Afghanistan and Iraq is costing the US $15 Billion a month. So the total war in Libya cost the US less than the war in Afghanistan in one week. When I say, “Costing the US...” I use the term loosely, because the US obviously does not have this money. They get this money from raising the price of Brent Crude Oil to five times its true value and the rest of the world has to pay for their wars. But all things considered, the war in Libya was over in eight months, at a relatively minuscule cost of $1 billion dollars and not a single American soldier lost his life. Now THAT is how take over a country!!!

  • Frank - 2011-10-26 18:02

    he offered elections NATO refused as he would have won. you all love to bash gaddafi here, western media has infected your little brains.

      Alan - 2011-10-26 18:10

      Moron, he broke his own ceasefire agreement.

      Eugene - 2011-10-26 23:28

      Source for that, Frank?

  • EyesEars - 2011-10-27 11:26

    So it was right that SA stepped down to please the world regarding democrating change. Now the world expected the same from Gaddafi. I wonder what the ANC will do if they are asked the same from the world. Will they step down? All because of money and natural recources. America was hunting that oil for a very long time. China is not far behind in SA.

  • chidiohaz - 2011-10-27 13:55

    Inasmuch that I felt for the Late Libyan Leader (now former and deceased), I see it as being foolhardy not to have relinquished power on time. If possible he could have conducted an election and perhaps install any of his stooges as the new Leader. But power without adequate sensibility is dangerous and deadly. African Leaders MUST pick lessons from these histories viz-a-viz those of Liberia (Late Samuel Doe), Ivory Coast, Egypt, Charles Taylor, Uganda, etc. These are countries where their Leaders though well respected, feared and held in high esteem during their reign ended up being treated like common criminals. I wept for the Late Maumman Ghadaffi and the huge loss of lives, wealth, economy and machines.

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