Rebels rule out exiling Gaddafi for peace talks
Published 04/07/2011 | 05:00
Libya's rebel administration publicly accepted for the first time yesterday that peace talks could start without Colonel Muammar Gaddafi being forced into exile.
The head of the Transitional National Council (TNC), Mustafa Abdel Jalil, said yesterday that Gaddafi could stay in Libya, under "international supervision", while talks got under way.
Mr Jalil disclosed that an offer to this effect had been made to the Libyan regime via the United Nations almost a month ago to end the conflict.
"We offered that he can resign and order his soldiers to withdraw from their barracks and positions, and then he can decide either to stay in Libya or abroad," he explained.
He added that if Gaddafi stayed in Libya it would be "under international supervision".
A senior official in Tripoli said Gaddafi, would "not be a prisoner of foreigners in his own country".
The move by the TNC is seen as an indication that with no military victory in sight after three months of Nato bombing, there is a growing push for a diplomatic solution.
According to senior French and British military commanders, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has demanded a "successful ending" to the war in time for an announcement on Bastille Day, July 14. (© Independent News Service)