Gaddafi ready for the ceasefire

JNN 27 May 2011 : Libyan Prime Minister Al Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi says the regime of longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi is prepared for an immediate UN-monitored ceasefire in the crisis-hit North African country.

Mahmoudi has proposed a ceasefire in a letter to foreign governments, the British daily The Independent said on Thursday, citing a copy of the document.

“We must stop the fighting, start talking, agree on a new constitution and create a system of government that both reflects the reality of our society and conforms to the demands of contemporary governance,” Mahmudi said.

“The cycle of violence must be replaced by a cycle of reconciliation. Both sides need the incentive to move out of their corner and to engage in a process that will lead to consensus,” he added.

The revolutionaries have so far been against a ceasefire and have continuously called for Gaddafi’s ouster, saying negotiations with the Libyan government will be held if Gaddafi and his sons quit power and leave the country.

Mahmudi’s remarks come as South African President Jacob Zuma is expected to visit Libya next week in order to discuss an exit strategy for embattled Gaddafi.

Seeking to mediate an end to fighting between Libyan revolutionaries and forces loyal to Gaddafi, Zuma will visit Libya in coordination with Turkish government efforts to help end Gaddafi’s decades-long grip on power.

Meanwhile, NATO planes carried out heavy air strikes on the Libyan capital, Tripoli, on Tuesday. At least 19 people were killed and 130 others injured in the overnight bombing.

NATO says the airstrikes hit a military facility used to launch attacks on civilians.

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