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March 8th, 2011
07:12 PM ET

Opposition denies exit deal talks with Gadhafi

CNN Wire Staff

Tripoli, Libya (CNN) - Libyan opposition members denied Tuesday that they have been negotiating an exit deal with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, rejecting an assertion made earlier in the day by an opposition official.

Speaking to reporters, members of the Libyan National Transitional Council said there have been no such talks. Council spokesman Abdel Hafez Ghoga also denied reports that the opposition would promise not to pursue Gadhafi for crimes if he steps down within three days.

Earlier, a member of an opposition group called the February 17 Coalition said Gadhafi was trying to strike a deal with opposition leaders, saying he would step down as Libya's leader if they would guarantee him safe passage out of the country and promise that neither he nor his family would face prosecution.

The coalition member, Amal Bugaigis, said the opposition submitted counteroffers, which included a stipulation that Gadhafi had to immediately concede he is not the ruler of Libya.

Gadhafi was expected to meet Tuesday with reporters at a hotel in Tripoli. The transistional council's 31 members represent most areas of Libya and focus on organizing a governmental structure for a post-Gadhafi Libya.

The Libyan opposition is composed not of a single monolithic group, but of various groups and individuals around the country whose shared goal is to see the 68-year-old ruler ousted.

Gadhafi's regime, meanwhile, also denied having entered into negotiations with the rebels. Musa Ibrahim, a government spokesman, called reports of such negotiations "lies."

In Washington, U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said any departure from Libya of Gadhafi would not exempt him, his family or others from responsibility for their actions. "We are going to hold him accountable," Crowley said.

U.S. President Barack Obama discussed Libya on Tuesday with British Prime Minister David Cameron, the White House said in a statement.

"They agreed that the common objective in Libya must be an immediate end to brutality and violence; the departure of Gadhafi from power as quickly as possible; and a transition that meets the Libyan peoples' aspirations for freedom, dignity, and a representative government," it said.

Both leaders agreed to go ahead with planning responses, "including surveillance, humanitarian assistance, enforcement of the arms embargo, and a no-fly zone."

The unrest in Libya, which has spiraled into a civil war, entered its fourth week Tuesday.

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soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Jerome Puetz

    Solution to Libya

    The UN should declare that any countries that continue to buy there OIL be put on the list of least favorable countries to trade with. The Sudia government has already agreed to increase production. Can’t the UN push through sanctions to save lives.

    Jerome/Illinois

    March 8, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
  2. Michel Gourd

    No country should attack his own citizens!

    It is a good thing that Canada is calling for Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi to be put before the International Criminal Court to answer for attacking his own citizens. No country should attack his own citizens for political motives. Yes, legislation should impose economic sanctions against any country attacking his own citizens with the aim of quickly forcing its government from power. All of them.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
  3. Kory Satter

    Many people are suggesting that the United States or some European country should be involved in the creation of a "no-fly zone" over Libya, either partially or wholly. But, why should the United States or some other European country get involved? My personal conviction is that foreign intervention by the US or the EU should not happen. Here's why:

    Since the Crusades (and even before), relations between the Muslim world and the West, dominated by white, Christian men, have been strained. And any foreign intervention by a white, Christian country will mirror colonialism, in their eyes. It does in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Further, the Arab League needs to get involved. The West is not the world's police, though it likes to think it is on many occasions. The Arab League needs to prove that it can change things, that the UN or US doesn't need to get involved nor bear the burden.

    If the Arab League can change Libya for the better, then good: It will change public opinion (though many probably have not heard of it) about the Arab League.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:40 pm |