Gaddafi ‘conditionally ready to step down’

2011-07-05 08:39

Moscow – Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is ready to cede power in exchange for security guarantees, an unnamed senior Russian official was quoted as saying in today’s edition of the Kommersant business daily.

The press report came one day after Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen discussed Libya in Russia with President Dmitry Medvedev.

“The colonel is sending signals that he is ready to cede power in exchange for security guarantees,” the respected business daily quoted the unnamed Russian official as saying.

The Russian source added that France appeared the country most willing to play a part by unfreezing some of the Gaddafi family’s accounts and promising to help him avoid trial at the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

The Russian official’s comments came one day after Nato chiefs and Medvedev clashed over Libya during a scheduled summit in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi.

Russia has criticised the scope and intent of the international campaign while Nato has said that Moscow’s calls for an immediate ceasefire must be backed up by verifiable assurances from the Tripoli government.

The two sides reported no immediate progress at yesterday’s talks.

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