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April 6th, 2011
07:30 PM ET

Gadhafi asks Obama to end NATO bombing

CNN Wire Staff

Tripoli, Libya (CNN) - As rebel and pro-government forces in Libya maneuvered on the battlefield Wednesday, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi urged U.S. President Barack Obama to end the NATO bombing of his war-torn country.

Gadhafi made the appeal in a letter to the American president, a senior administration official said.

But the official said there was "nothing new" in the letter, the thrust of which was an appeal for an end to the alliance's air operations. It contained no offers to negotiate or step down, and the official said the administration isn't taking the note seriously.

Gadhafi asked Obama to stop the "unjust war against a small people of a developing country" and said those in the opposition are terrorists and members of al Qaeda, the official said.

"We have been hurt more morally than physically because of what had happened against us in both deeds and words by you," Gadhafi wrote, according to the official. "Despite all this you will always remain our son."

The strongman expressed hope that Obama wins re-election next year, the official added. And he wrote that a democratic society cannot be built through missiles and aircraft.

"You are a man who has enough courage to annul a wrong and mistaken action," the leader wrote to the president.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the NATO strikes will stop when Gadhafi steps down and leaves the country.

"I don't think there is any mystery about what is expected from Mr. Gadhafi at this time," Clinton said.

The letter came amid diplomatic, economic and military developments in Libya, which remains in a deadly stalemate as pro-Gadhafi forces battle opposition fighters demanding democracy and an end to Gadhafi's nearly 42-year-rule.

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