Kadhafi calls on intl powers to end 'barbaric' attacks

29th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi called for an end to the "barbaric offensive" against Libya in a letter addressed to international powers meeting in London Tuesday to discuss his nation's future.

In the letter, addressed to the "contact group" of nations meeting to map out a post-Kadhafi future for Libya, the strongman likened the NATO-led air strikes to military campaigns launched by Adolf Hitler during World War II.

"Stop your barbaric, unjust offensive on Libya," Kadhafi said in the letter published by the state news agency Jana.

"Leave Libya for the Libyans. You are committing genocide against a peaceful people and a developing nation," he said.

"It seems that you in Europe and America don't realise the hellish, barbaric (military) offensive which compares... to Hitler's campaigns when he invaded Europe and bombed Britain," he said.

The campaign was launched on March 19 by Britain, France and the United States to enforce a UN no-fly zone on Libya and to protect civilians under attack by Kadhafi's forces.

More than 35 countries, including seven Arab states, are meeting Tuesday in London as rebels, emboldened by the air strikes, closed in on the key city of Sirte as they advanced against Kadhafi's forces.

A French presidency statement said it had been agreed that the London talks should aid "the political transition in Libya."

Kadhafi in his letter said he will "accept any decision taken by the African Union."

A Libyan delegation to African Union talks Friday in Addis Ababa said Tripoli is ready to implement an AU roadmap to resolve the Libyan crisis, while also demanding a halt to the Western strikes on the country.

"We are ready to implement the road map envisaged... (by) the High-Level Committee mandated by the Peace and Security Council of the African Union," said a statement from the delegation headed by Mohammed al-Zwai, secretary general of Libya's General People's Congress.

The AU roadmap calls for an immediate end to all hostilities, "cooperation on the part of the relevant Libyan authorities to facilitate humanitarian aid," and "protection for all foreign nationals, including African migrant workers."

The Addis Ababa talks were attended by EU, UN and Arab League representatives, following an invitation from AU Commission chairman Jean Ping.

Ping said on Friday that the AU, which is opposed to foreign military intervention, wants to "facilitate dialogue between the Libyan parties" -- a reference to the Kadhafi regime and Libyan insurgents.

On Tuesday the rebels who launched in mid-February an uprising against the Kadhafi's four-decade rule had the key city of Sirte -- the leader's hometown -- in their sights.

Emboldened by Western air strikes that allowed them to overrun the strategic town of Ajdabiya on Saturday, the rebels raced westwards towards Sirte before on Monday coming heavy artillery attack first at Bin Jawad, 140 kilometres from Sirte, and then, at nightfall, at Harawa.

Also addressing the London meeting, Kadhafi said in his message: "How could you attack those who are fighting against Al-Qaeda."

The Libyan strongman repeatedly has accused the Al-Qaeda Islamist network of fuelling the uprising.

© 2011 AFP

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