Kadhafi regime lobbied US to stop bombings: Guardian

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Besieged Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi lobbied the US to try and stop NATO's bombing campaign and feared western forces would commence a full invasion at the end of the year, documents seen by The Guardian revealed.

Kadhafi's regime sought to persuade US congressman Dennis Kucinich -- who voted against the NATO operation over Libya -- to conduct a "peace mission" to Tripoli, the broadsheet reported Friday.

"Because of the efforts I had made early on to bring an end to the war, I started to get calls from Libya, including from the prime minister," the congressman told the Guardian.

The Democrat congressman told the regime he was unable to negotiate on behalf of the US administration and concluded Libya "did not seem a promising place to hold meetings."

Libyan Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi, who is now in exile in Tunisia, also wrote to US President Barack Obama in June to protest the "unprecedented decision" to freeze Libyan assets.

Among the documents, which surfaced during the rebels' advance on Tripoli, was a letter written by a US-based lobbyist for the regime, Sufyan Omeish, to the prime minister warning of a full-scale invasion.

"What is most concerning is that there are highly credible analysts and intelligence personnel in the US who are exposing growing evidence of covert logistical military planning for a future ground invasion in either late September or October of this year," he wrote, according to the Guardian.

Libya's rebels announced Friday the transfer of their leadership to Tripoli from their Benghazi base, boosted by a United Nations decision to release millions of dollars of cash aid within days.

The move came less than three days after rebel forces swarmed into Kadhafi's sprawling compound in the centre of the capital, defeating his fighters in fierce clashes and seizing control of most of the city.

But Kadhafi was nowhere to be found and on Thursday he broadcast a new audio calling on the populace to take up arms.

© 2011 AFP

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