Kadhafi rules out dialogue with rebels: report

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Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi said he would hold no dialogue with the country's rebels, whom he compared to Al-Qaeda agents, in an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro to be published on Thursday.

"These are not people who we can consider holding dialogue with, because Al-Qaeda does not hold dialogue with anyone. If people want to talk to Al-Qaeda, then they should talk with (Osama) bin Laden," he told the newspaper.

Asked about the rebel National Council, Kadhafi said: "It has no value. Its leader (Mustafa Abdel Jalil) is clueless, a sad case. These people will no doubt flee to Egypt."

Kadhafi has repeatedly accused Al-Qaeda of being behind "terrorist gangs" seeking to overthrow him, alleging that the hardline Islamist group manipulated young people by giving them "hallucinogenic tablets".

He told Le Figaro that he would be lenient with high-ranking defectors to the rebel side. "Those people were taken hostage. If they stay, I will pardon them, because it wasn't their fault."

Kadhafi's forces on Wednesday threatened the eastern bastion of Benghazi as fighting raged on several fronts and UN chief Ban Ki-moon called for an immediate ceasefire.

"Our goal is to gradually dismantle these armed groups using different methods such as surrounding cities or sending mediators," Kadhafi told Le Figaro.

"Tribal chiefs can play the role of mediators by asking (the rebels) to lay down their arms. We also count on former defecting soldiers to go talk to their comrades," he added.

© 2011 AFP

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