Gaddafi ignores calls for stepping down

2011-07-28 10:30

Libyan leader Muammer Gaddafi has shrugged off calls for him to step down and hinted that he and his troops are prepared for a potential rebel and NATO ground incursion into Tripoli.

“We are here waiting for you. And so are the Mediterranean fish,” Gaddafi said in an audio message broadcast on state Libyan television late yesterday.

Gaddafi, who has not been seen in public since late April, called on his supporters to march to Misrata, Libya’s third biggest city, to remove what he described as tyrants, traitors and agents of colonialism.

Meanwhile, Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Khalid Kaim slammed Britain’s decision to recognise the rebel Transitional National Council as the sole governmental representative in Libya as irresponsible and illegal.

He told the BBC that the decision violated the British and international laws.

Kaim added that the Gaddafi government was planning to take legal action against the British move.

Yesterday, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said his country was to formally recognise the National Transitional Council and expel the remaining diplomats in the country representing Gaddafi.

Britain regarded the interim council as the “sole governmental authority” in Libya, Hague said, adding that Libya’s London embassy was to be handed over to the council.

Rebels have been struggling since February to oust Gaddafi who has been in power for 42 years. 

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