Gaddafi offered talks on quitting – rebels

2011-03-08 12:32
Benghazi - A Muammar Gaddafi envoy offered to hold talks on the Libyan leader's exit but the rebel National Libyan Council rejected negotiations with a leader they do not trust, a rebel spokesperson said on Tuesday.

Arab media had reported that the Libyan leader had reached out to the council to offer talks on Gaddafi's departure, which is the central demand of rebels who have seized swathes of the country mainly in the east from the Libyan leader's control.

A council source on Monday told Reuters he had heard of a proposal that Gaddafi hand power to the head of parliament and leave Libya with a guaranteed sum of money. He had also said the council saw the cash element as an obstacle.

In fiery and defiant speeches, Gaddafi has vowed to fight on and has told his supporters he will never leave Libya.

Officials from the council, which is based in the rebel-held eastern city of Benghazi, did not confirm any Gaddafi proposal on Monday, but on Tuesday a spokesperson confirmed it was made.

"I confirm that we received contact from a Gaddafi representative seeking to negotiate Gaddafi's exit," a media officer for the council, Mustafa Gheriani, told Reuters.

Libyan blood

"We rejected this. We are not negotiating with someone who spilled Libyan blood and continues to do so. Why would we trust the guy today?" he added.

The Libyan government or Gaddafi's representatives have not issued any comment on such a proposal but his son, Saadi Gaddafi, told an Arabic channel that if the leader did step down Libya would descend into civil war.

The head of the rebel council, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, told Al Arabiya television by telephone: "Now the first demand is that he announces his departure, and only after that perhaps Libyans will stop pursuing him for crimes."

"There are indirect contacts with the Americans at the presidential level," he added, without giving details.

Al Jazeera also cited Abdel Jalil as saying that there was "no chance for Gaddafi's rule over Libya to continue". It quoted an Al Jazeera correspondent saying there were talks about mediation by a foreign state to secure a safe exit for Gaddafi.

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Read more on:    muammar gaddafi  |  libya  |  libya protests  |  north africa  |  uprisings
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