Kadhafi has no plans to stand down, leave Libya: FIDE chief

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President of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) Kirsan Ilyumzhinov said Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi told him over a game of chess in Tripoli on Sunday he had no plans to stand down or leave his country.

"The meeting lasted around two hours, we played some chess with Kadhafi," Ilyumzhinov, who is on a visit to Tripoli in his capacity as FIDE president, told Russia's Interfax news agency.

"Kadhafi stated that he is not going to leave Libya, stressing that it is his motherland and a land where his children and grandchildren died. He also said that he does not understand which post he needs to step down from."

"I am neither premier nor president nor king. I do not hold any post in Libya and therefore I have no position which I should give up," Ilyumzhinov quoted Kadhafi as telling him.

Ilyumzhinov was the head of Russia's Buddhist region of Kalmykia between 1993 and 2010. He famously claimed that he met aliens on the balcony of his apartment in Moscow, prompting demands to explain his behaviour.

The West is involved in the bombing campaign against Kadhafi's forces, a conflict Russia has offered to mediate. The Kremlin's special representative to Africa, Mikhail Margelov, visited rebels in Libya's east this week and is now preparing a trip to Tripoli.

© 2011 AFP

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