Kadhafi has 'no regrets' over terror past

28th April 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 28 (AFP) - Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi said Wednesday he "absolutely does not regret the past", despite his country's former alleged support for terrorism.

PARIS, April 28 (AFP) - Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi said Wednesday he "absolutely does not regret the past", despite his country's former alleged support for terrorism.

"We were in a phase of fighting for emancipation, liberation.... We were accused of being terrorists, but that is the price we had to pay. If that is terrorism, then we are proud to be terrorists because we helped the liberation of the (African) continent", Kadhafi told public Radio France Internationale.

"I absolutely do not regret the past", he said in comments recorded in Brussels.

The Libyan leader was speaking on the second and final day of a visit to the Belgian capital - his first trip outside Africa or the Middle East in 15 years - which marks a further step in ending Libya's international isolation.

The trip also marked the latest step in Libya's return to the international fold after years as a pariah state, wracked by UN-imposed sanctions.

In the past year the oil-rich country announced it was abandoning efforts to procure weapons of mass destruction, and agreed to pay-outs to the families of passengers killed in the 1988 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, and a 1989 attack on a French airliner over Niger - both blamed in part on Tripoli.

Kadhafi, in remarks in Arabic translated by the radio into French, defended Libya's support for African nationalist "freedom fighters".

"We financed, trained, formed these freedom fighters (for national movements), and this is something we are proud of," he said.

"It was for Africa, it was because of Africa."

In a speech to Belgium's parliament, also on Wednesday, he described terrorism as "the result of the imbalance in the world at the moment" and suggested that so-called terrorists had no other course of action.

"The terrorist is one who is forced to defend himself to win back rights by brutal means, terrorist means, because there are no other means," he told the deputies.

© AFP

                                             Subject: French news

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