US trying to bribe & convince Gaddafi to leave, While he still steadfast to fight
A US delegation that has met with Libyan officials has reportedly offered Gaddafi guarantees that he will not be prosecuted if he relinquishes power, said a Libyan official, Asharq al-Awsat reported on Wednesday.
The unidentified official, described as “close” to the negotiations with the US, said, “The US delegation expressed clear readiness to go ahead and find a place or a country prepared to host Gaddafi, along with offering him guarantees that he will not be tracked down for prosecution.”
According to the newspaper, the talks were held Saturday in Tunisia and were attended by Bashir Saleh, the director of Gaddafi’s office.
Gaddafi announced on Tuesday that he would continue fighting against NATO and Libyan opposition, vowing to retake the lost areas from anti-regime forces.
Tripoli and some western provinces remain under Gaddafi’s control while the revolutionaries hold Benghazi, most of the east and several western cities.
France has similarly said that Gaddafi can stay in Libya if he quits power, pointing out that a truce deal can only be struck if the Libyan ruler makes a formal commitment to give up his civil and military responsibilities.
The African nation has been the scene of intense fighting between regime troops and revolutionary forces since mid-February. The revolutionary forces seek an end to Gaddafi’s decades-long rule.
The conflict has left thousands of people dead and wounded.
The US and NATO forces unleashed a punishing, UN-mandated aerial bombardment of Libya in March to pressure Gaddafi to abandon power.
The military alliance has admitted that its forces have killed and wounded scores of civilians in the ongoing aerial attacks on key Libyan cities.
Libyan long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi says he will continue fighting against the NATO and the revolution, vowing to retake the lost areas from anti-regime forces.
“This war was imposed on us, and our only choice is to fight — men, women and children — with all our weapons to liberate (the rebel strongholds) of Benghazi, Misratah and Al-Jabal Al-Gharbi (the Nafusa mountains southwest of the capital),” Gaddafi was quoted by AFP as saying on Tuesday.
“We will march on the cities controlled by the traitors and mercenaries of NATO to retake them. NATO’s bombs do not scare us,” Gaddafi added.
Gaddafi’s speech was broadcast over loudspeakers to supporters in al-Aziziya, 50 kilometres (30 miles) west of the capital, Tripoli.
The Libyan ruler said “millions” of people will fight with him to defend their honor as well as the country’s oil resources.
However, White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Tuesday that the “situation is moving against Gaddafi.”
“He controls less territory and the opposition is on the offensive in a variety of areas of the country,” Carney said.
Gaddafi is also under mounting pressure since he cannot get fuel and money needed to continue fighting and more countries are recognizing the National Transitional Council (NTC), the White House spokesman added.
Earlier on Tuesday, Gaddafi troops carrying flags of the revolutionary forces shelled opposition positions near the oil-rich eastern town of Brega, killing eight fighters and injuring dozens more, said Mohammed Idris, a doctor at the hospital in the nearby city of Ajdabiya.
The attack comes a day after revolutionary forces said they had seized control of Brega following intense fighting with regime troops in the residential area of the town.
The Libyan government has denied this.
Revolutionary forces say fields of land mines have hindered the entrance of more opposition forces to the town.
Abdulrazag Elaradi, an NTC member visiting the front, said that in a 7.5-kilometer (five mile) tract the revolutionaries had found more than 700 mines.