Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Gaddafi regime racing against time, intensifies secret talks with West | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat – Colonel Gaddafi’s close aides are racing against time to find a political solution to the current crisis in Libya. Asharq Al-Awsat also learnt that one of Saif al-Islam’s senior aides, Mohamed Ismail, is currently in the middle of a secret visit to London in this regard.

Sources informed Asharq Al-Awsat that the proposals being put forward by Gaddafi’s close aides include a proposal which would see him remain in power as a figurehead, like Queen Elizabeth II, with one of his sons being appointed president, and opposition figures joining a national government.

Sources familiar with the details of the communications taking place between Gaddafi’s close aides and a number of western governments informed Asharq Al-Awsat that Gaddafi put forward the idea of his son Mutassim Gaddafi – who is currently a Libyan national security adviser – being appointed Libyan president, with Colonel Gaddafi remaining in power in a symbolic position.

The sources added that this new proposal indicates that Colonel Gaddafi has withdrawn his previous proposal of his second son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, being appointed president, after the Libyan opposition forces completely rejection this idea. The rebel forces announced that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi’s statements and positions revealed that he would follow in his father’s footsteps with regards to his style of rule.

The sources also revealed that this offer is currently being discussed with a number of western governments, as well as officials within the Barack Obama administration, adding that the final form of this offer has yet to be determined, and will be put in place in the coming days pending the outcome of the current consultations.

The sources also told Asharq Al-Awsat that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi’s aide, Mohamed Ismail, was held for a number of hours in Cairo, before arriving secretly in London. The source stressed that these consultations are still in their early stages.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi has not appeared in public for 10 days, nor has he issued any statements to the media during this period, whilst Asharq Al-Awsat has learnt that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi’s cell phone is switched off.

Abdul Monem al-Houni, a spokesman for the Libyan rebel National Transitional Council told Asharq Al-Awsat that there is an international consensus that Gaddafi should leave power as soon as possible in order to avoid further bloodshed and put an end to the destruction of the infrastructure of the Libyan state.

Al-Houni also stressed that there is division within the Libyan regime, with some believing that the time has come for Gaddafi and his family to leave power. He added that Gaddafi still believes that he might be able to remain in power in some form, as a symbolic figure-head like Queen Elizabeth II. Al-Houni told Asharq Al-Awsat that “Gaddafi believes that the Libyan people, the Western states, and the US, might possibly accept this…he is seeking to have any kind of presence [in the makeup of the future state].”

However al-Houni stressed that “it is not possible for any Libyan citizen to think of Gaddafi having any presence in their life after all that has happened.”