Libya ready to negotiate reforms: spokesman

5th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

Libya is ready to negotiate reforms such as elections or a referendum but the resignation of leader Moamer Kadhafi is non-negotiable, a government spokesman said Tuesday.

"How Libya is governed, this is a different matter. What kind of political system is implemented in the country? This is negotiable, we can talk about it," spokesman Mussa Ibrahim told journalists. "We can have anything, elections, referendums."

Ibrahim said Kadhafi was "the safety valve" for the unity of the country's tribes and people.

"We think he is very important to lead any transition to a democratic and transparent model," he added.

Italy, Libya's former colonial master, on Monday said Kadhafi and his family must leave power and the international community has to stand united against regime diplomacy.

"Kadhafi and his family must go," Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told Italian news channel SkyTG24.

He also said the international community should stand "united" and prevent any envoys from Kadhafi from "making a breach" in this solidarity.

Frattini spoke as Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Abdelati Laabidi held talks in Ankara following consultations in Athens on Sunday.

Laabidi then travelled to Malta to hold talks with Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi.

Earlier on Monday, Frattini said Italy had recognised the Libyan opposition's Transitional National Council as its "sole interlocutor" and offered assistance for economic reconstruction in rebel-held eastern Libya.

He also dismissed Laabidi's proposals, which have not been made public, as "not credible", adding: "It is not possible to accept them."

Ibrahim on Tuesday regretted Italy's decision to recognise the opposition council.

While saying that Tripoli was ready to negotiate with the West he said Western powers could not decide what the Libyan people must do.

Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesman earlier said that Britain was not pursuing an exit strategy for Kadhafi.

"We have been very clear throughout about what the next step should be and that needs to be a genuine ceasefire and an end to violence.

"An exit strategy for Kadhafi is not something we are involved in pursuing," he said.

Britain has said Kadhafi must leave power and wants to see him face the International Criminal Court.

"All I would say on other members of that regime is that ultimately the judge of what is a suitable government needs to be the Libyan people," said the spokesman.

"It's not our position that we are going to impose solutions on Libya. That's not something we would do. Any government needs to be a government that's acceptable to all the Libyan people.

© 2011 AFP

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