Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Gaddafi sends negotiators to Benghazi | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat- Informed Libyan sources in the city of Benghazi, where the headquarters of the Interim National Council are located, which has recently put forth its candidates to administer the country in the coming period, have revealed that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi yesterday sent a negotiator on his behalf to visit the Council. [Via the negotiator], the Libyan leader declared his readiness to abandon power and leave Libya, in return for ensuring the safety of himself and his family.

The sources explained that Gaddafi’s terms were as follows: The General People’s Congress [Gaddafi’s parliament] would convene to declare that Gaddafi had stepped down, and handed power over to the National Council. In return, Gaddafi sought assurances for his safety, that of his family, and his wealth.

In a telephone interview with Asharq al-Awsat, the sources revealed that Gaddafi demanded assistance in leaving the country, which he intends to do, and requested guarantees that he would not be pursued, either internally or abroad, or brought to face international courts.

Sources did not disclose the content of the Council’s response, saying only that: “there has yet to be an official response to Gaddafi’s demands, whether negative or positive”. However, the sources said that the general popular trend at present is to reject all negotiation and dialogue with Gaddafi, under any circumstances.

The sources also revealed that Colonel Gaddafi had yesterday distributed a quantity of weapons and ammunition amongst the “Abna al-Rafaq”, a group of young loyalists in Tripoli who are affiliated with leaders of the Revolutionary Committees, in a move which the sources termed part of the “Gaddafi Maneuvers”. By doing so, Gaddafi is seeking to deliberately confuse matters, and spread chaos, in order to blur the picture of what is happening in Libya in front of the foreign media and observers.

The sources said that these youths are taking to the streets of Tripoli and firing bullets in order to spread terror and confusion amongst the citizens, and amidst the ranks of journalists and foreign correspondents, who were initially invited to the Libyan capital by the Gaddafi regime.