Gaddafi won't go, says Libya PM
Tripoli - Libya's prime minister on Thursday said the government had asked the United Nations and African Union to prepare and monitor a ceasefire, but ruled out the departure of strongman Muammar Gaddafi.
"We have asked the United Nations and the African Union to set a date and specific hours for a ceasefire, to send international observers and take the necessary measures" to end combat, said Baghdadi al-Mahmudi.
Earlier, African leaders gathered at a Libya-focused summit in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa called for an end to Nato air strikes to pave the way for a political solution to the north African nation's protracted conflict.
But Nato insisted it would keep up its air raids in Libya until Gaddafi’s forces stop attacking civilians and until the regime's proposed ceasefire is matched by its actions on the ground.
"If the Gaddafi regime is serious about finding a solution, all it needs to do is end its attacks on civilians, withdraw its forces, and permit full, safe and unhindered access to humanitarian aid," a Nato official told AFP.
London-based daily The Independent reported on Thursday that the Libyan premier was sending international leaders a message proposing an immediate UN-monitored ceasefire in Libya.
According to a letter seen by the newspaper, Gaddafi’s regime was ready to enter unconditional talks with rebels, declare an amnesty for both sides and draft a new constitution.
The Spanish government confirmed it had received a message to that effect.
The Nato official, however, said the western alliance had received no such request and noted that the Gaddafi regime had made "similar statements" before, only to continue its attacks on civilians.
"Nato will keep up the pressure on the regime until these steps are implemented in a credible, verifiable and sustained way," he said.