Arab League chief doubts Kadhafi will step down

27th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

The outgoing head of the Arab League on Friday said he doubted embattled Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi would step down voluntarily after the G8 summit of powerful nations demanded he go.

"Knowing the man, I don't think he's going to step down," Amr Mussa told journalists at the summit in the French resort of Deauville.

Asked about initiatives to mediate an end to the crisis pitting pro-democracy rebels against veteran leader Kadhafi's forces, Mussa said "there is a drive by several international organisations and several capitals."

Russia has been approached to mediate an end to the conflict, while the Arab League and the African Union are also seeking a political solution.

Mussa said the most urgent task was to implement a "genuine ceasefire" under international supervision.

He said that there was a yawning gap between Tripoli and the rebel National Transitional Council on the question of Kadhafi, with the rebels insisting he go immediately and the regime saying it could talk about his exit "later."

"The difficulty is clear. This is the crucial point," Mussa said.

G8 leaders from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States called in a draft of their final statement for Kadhafi to step down.

"Kadhafi and the Libyan government have failed to fulfil their responsibility to protect the Libyan population and have lost all legitimacy. He has no future in a free, democratic Libya. He must go," it warned.

© 2011 AFP

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