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Gaddafi Allows Major Libyan Opposition Figures to Return Home - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat- According to official Libyan sources, Libyan authorities have been successful in persuading a number of Libyan opponents to return home to Libya with the promise of dropping their activities to oust Col Muammar al- Gaddafi’s regime. According to the sources that spoke to Asharq al-Awsat on the condition on anonymity the agreement came after three months of secret negotiations, and will see Muhammad Salih Buwysir, son of the former Libyan foreign minister, who was killed in the Libyan airliner that Israel shot down over Sinai in the early 1970s, and former chairman of “The American-Libyan Alliance for Freedom, ALFA; and Ramadan Abu-Zakuk, one of the historic founders of the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, return to Libya for good within day or so.

Sources also revealed that both Buwaysir and Abu-Zakuk will attend the celebrations that Libya plans to organize early next month to mark the passage of 37 years since Colonel Al- Gaddafi assumed power in 1969. Both figures are also scheduled to take part in a seminar entitled “From a Revolution to a State,” which will be chaired by Maj Gen Sayyid Qadhaf al-Damm, cousin of Colonel al- Gaddafi and head of the so-called the Popular Social Command in Libya.

Sources also stated that Saif al-Islam al- Gaddafi, son of Colonel Al- Gaddafi and chairman of the Al- Gaddafi Foundation for Development, is currently leading a campaign within the Libyan authorities calling for containing the various opponents to his father’s regime, and for holding a dialogue with them to win them over and lure them to return to Libya.

In April, 2004, prominent Libyan opponent Bashir al-Rabiti, the official in charge of the National Organization for Reform, returned to Libya, ending 25 years of opposition activities to Colonel Al- Gaddafi’s regime.

High-ranking Libyan sources have confirmed that the efforts being made to return the Libyan opponents to Libya is part of an undeclared national reconciliation campaign by the Libyan authorities to bring opponents back home to put the Libyan house in order. This campaign follows the settlement of pending differences between Libya and the United States and Western nations, Libya’s voluntary abandonment of its weapons of mass destruction program in December 2003, and its decision to fully normalize diplomatic ties with US President George Bush’s administration.

Asharq Al-Awsat has also learned that the Libyan authorities have dropped the formal charges against the opponents who returned to Libya, and have returned to them their homes that had been confiscated years ago. The Libyan authorities are also considering returning to the returnees their properties which they had seized after their departure from Libya.

Major Abdul -Munim al-Huni is the most prominent opponent to return to Libya following a historic reconciliation with Colonel Al- Gaddafi, which Cairo sponsored. It is to be recalled that Al-Huni, who was candidate to head the Libyan Opposition Coalition abroad, currently holds the post of Libya’s permanent envoy to the Arab League.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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