France has 'no news' on Kadhafi's situation
France has no information on Moamer Kadhafi's current situation, the foreign ministry said Wednesday, as the Libyan leader's prolonged absence from television screens sparked speculation over his fate.
Kadhafi has not spoken publicly since April 30, when Libyan television broadcast a speech in which he vowed to fight to the death if NATO refused to negotiate with him. Hours later an airstrike hit his youngest son's house.
"I have no information relating to Mr Kadhafi's personal situation," French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero told reporters, recalling that Paris has severed all direct diplomatic ties with the Libyan regime.
Earlier, the foreign minister of France's ally Italy, Ignazio La Russa, also said he had no specific news on Kadhafi's location, and warned it would be legitimate for NATO to target a military base with the leader in it.
NATO has insisted that it is not directly attempting to kill Kadhafi in its campaign of air strikes against his forces, but it has warned that it will strike Libyan "command and control centres" regardless of his presence.
On Tuesday, asked whether Kadhafi was still alive, Italian NATO general Brigadier General Claudio Gabellini said: "We don't have any evidence. We don't know what Kadhafi is doing right now.
"To tell you the truth, we are not really interested in what he's doing," he added. "Our mandate is to protect civilians from attacks or from the threats of attacks, so we are not looking after individuals."
© 2011 AFP