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No Gaddafi role in proposed Libya transition: envoy - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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A street artist paints a caricature of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi in the rebel-held town of Benghazi, Libya, Thursday, July 21, 2011. (AP)

A street artist paints a caricature of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi in the rebel-held town of Benghazi, Libya, Thursday, July 21, 2011. (AP)

LONDON, (Reuters) – A U.N. peace envoy is suggesting a ceasefire in Libya, to be followed by the immediate creation of a transitional authority made up equally of the government and rebels and excluding Muammar Gaddafi or his sons, a senior European diplomat said.

The authority would appoint a president, control the police, armed forces and security services and would supervise a round-table reconciliation process, leading to elections to a national assembly which would write a constitution, the diplomat said.

The diplomat, who asked for his name and location to be withheld, was outlining ideas he said were being canvassed by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s special envoy to Libya, Abdul Elah al-Khatib.

Khatib, a Jordanian senator, is seeking a political solution to a conflict that erupted in February between Gaddafi’s forces and rebels based in the east. He has visited both sides several times.

Gaddafi has been holding on to power in the face of rebel attacks aimed at ending his 41-year rule and has rejected suggestions that he quit, as demanded by the insurgents.

The Libyan leader on Thursday ruled out talks with the rebels, casting doubt on a flurry of diplomatic efforts to end the conflict.

The European diplomat said that under Khatib’s transition proposal, Gaddafi would have to step down, but rather than being a precondition it would be part of the process.

As soon as the transitional authority was created and Gaddafi no longer had control of the security forces, Libyans in Tripoli would no longer fear him and at that point his rule would in effect end, the diplomat said.

He added Gaddafi would only accept such a transition if he had guarantees on his personal fate, and so would not immediately be handed to the world court at The Hague, which has issued a warrant for his arrest for crimes against humanity allegedly committed by his security forces.

Gaddafi and his sons would be excluded from the transitional authority, the diplomat said, since the rebels would never accept such a role for Gaddafi family members.

Khatib could not immediately be reached for comment. But on July 11 he told reporters at the United Nations he had told Libyan leaders a body with representatives from all political parties, regions and tribes was needed to manage a transition.

The United Nations has said Khatib had put those ideas to Libya’s prime minister and foreign minister.

France said on Wednesday Gaddafi could stay in Libya if he gave up power, an apparent softening of the West’s stance in a new effort to find a diplomatic end to the war.

The United States says Gaddafi must quit, but whether he remained in Libya after that would be up to the Libyan people.

Libyan officials have said Gaddafi’s departure was not up for negotiation and on Thursday the rebels said that no one seriously expected talks to end the crisis.

A rebel fighter pays respect at a tomb,  onto which a rebel flag has been placed, at a cemetery in the rebel-held town of Benghazi, Libya, Thursday, July 21, 2011. (AP)

A rebel fighter pays respect at a tomb, onto which a rebel flag has been placed, at a cemetery in the rebel-held town of Benghazi, Libya, Thursday, July 21, 2011. (AP)

Libya's leader Muammar Gaddafi gestures as he attends the Second Forum for Kings, Sultans, Princes, Sheikhs and Mayors of Africa in Tripoli. (Reuters)

Libya’s leader Muammar Gaddafi gestures as he attends the Second Forum for Kings, Sultans, Princes, Sheikhs and Mayors of Africa in Tripoli. (Reuters)

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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