Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani says Libyan leader might only have a few days to negotiate exit
Qatar's Prime Minister urged Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on Tuesday to step down to halt bloodshed and said that he might only have a few days to negotiate an exit.
"We urge Gaddafi and his people to leave," Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani told a news conference.
"I think this is the only solution to sort this problem as soon as possible. Right now we don't see any indication of that. But this hope which we offer now might not be on the table after a few days. I'm not warning anybody here, but I am trying to stop the bloodshed as soon as possible," he added.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague told a final news
conference that while Britain was not engaged in efforts to find
somewhere for Gaddafi to go, others were free to do so.
Rebels fighting Gaddafi promised to build a free, democratic
state if they won power in Tripoli.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, opening a conference
of 40 governments and international bodies, accused Gaddafi's
supporters of conducting "murderous attacks" on people in
Misrata, Libya's third largest city.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that coalition
military strikes on Libya would continue until Gaddafi fully
complied with UN demands to cease violence against civilians
and pull forces out of occupied cities.
"All of us must continue to increase the pressure on and
deepen the isolation of the Gaddafi regime through other means
as well," Clinton said.
"This includes a unified front of political and diplomatic
pressure that makes clear to Gaddafi that he must go."
The US ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, said
on ABC television that Washington had not ruled out arming the
rebels, although no such decision had been made yet.
US officials say a UN Security Council resolution
adopted this month would allow arming the rebels, but an Italian
diplomatic source said any such move would require a new
resolution backed by a broader international consensus.
Mahmoud Shammam, a spokesman for the rebels in London, told
Reuters: "We don't have arms at all otherwise we would finish
Gaddafi in a few days ... We are asking for political support
more than we are asking for arms, but if we get both that would
On Libya's coastal strip, focus of fighting, Gaddafi's
better armed troops appeared to be reversing a recent westward
charge by rebels who had taken advantage of coalition air
strikes to seize a string of towns over the last week.
Gaddafi accused Western powers of massacres of Libyan
civilians in alliance with rebels he said were al Qaeda members.
Before the London conference, called to discuss current
action against the Tripoli government and a post-Gaddafi era,
the interim rebel National Council held out the prospect of a
"modern, free and united state" if Gaddafi could be ousted.
Mahmoud Jebril, a leader of the Benghazi-based National
Council, was in London for meetings with Cameron and Clinton,
although the opposition did not attend the conference.
An eight-point Council statement said the oil-producing
north African nation's economy would be used for the benefit of
all Libyans. It also said it would draft a national constitution
allowing the formation of political parties and trades unions.
Its commitments included guaranteeing "every Libyan citizen,
of statutory age, the right to vote in free and fair
parliamentary elections and presidential elections, as well as
the right to run for office."
The United States said it had appointed veteran diplomat
Chris Stevens as envoy to the interim administration in Benghazi
and he would go there soon. France already has a special envoy
on the ground liaising with the rebel leadership.
With Gaddafi loyalists pushing back against the rebels,
Italy, the former colonial power in Libya, has put forward a
proposal for a political deal to end the crisis. It features a
quick ceasefire, exile for Gaddafi and dialogue between rebels
and tribal leaders.
"There is a tacit agreement among everybody that the best
thing would be for Gaddafi to go into exile, because the reason
for continuing the war is the presence of Gaddafi," the Italian
He added that the African Union, which stayed away from
Tuesday's meeting to underline its neutrality, was the only body
that could persuade Gaddafi to go into exile.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague also implied exile
might be a way to take Gaddafi out of the picture and settle the
six-week-old uprising against his four-decade rule.
"We want him to leave power and that's what we've
consistently said to the Libyan regime. We are not in control,
of course, of where he might go," Hague told the BBC, but he
said Gaddafi should face the International Criminal Court.
Muslim NATO member Turkey, which initially opposed military
action, wants a rapid ceasefire and a negotiated solution.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu attended the London
conference after Turkey was not invited to the first meeting of
the international coalition in Paris 10 days ago.
Some diplomats and analysts have suggested offering Gaddafi
immunity from ICC prosecution and safe passage to a host country
could be an incentive for him to go quickly.
Britain and France led the push for a muscular intervention
in the Libyan conflict and coalition air strikes have helped
rebels in the east of the country to advance; but questions
remain about the end game in Libya.
The United States has borne the brunt of military strikes so
far but President Barack Obama announced on Monday that it would
scale down involvement within days as the NATO defence alliance
takes over full command of the operation.
NATO STAY AWAY FROM LIBYA DO NOT RUIN THAT COUNTRY. DO NOT LET THE ANIMALS LOOSE. THE ANIMALS HAVE TO BE DISCIPLINED LET COL. GHADDAFI DO HIS JOB OF TAMING THESE ANIMALS.
wow that comment is self explanatory..one should forget that he has terrorised, tortured and stole the money from his people from the day he took over.
The people want freedom and to get rid of him and his cohorts. He wants to kill everyone who gets in his way, or even possibly get in his way.
One of my friends said something negative about him 15 years ago. You want to see his scars? both mental and physical?
Sarojini are living on this planet or viewing it from Mars.
Get real, The animal you describe has been dressed in a Colonel's uniform for decades, parades around like a peacock and starves his people from a decent standard of living that he only allows his close family to enjoy. One would describe him as a self indulgent dictator who squashes anyone who dares to challenge his actions and his behaviour.
If he had any self respect and gave his people a fair go he would not be facing his inevitable termination. Unfortunately he doesn't know and it seems nor do you, or doesn't want to, keep his country in a peaceful transition where his own useby date passed when Pan Am fell on Lockerbie.
And by the way, NATO is not ruining the country that started when he decided it was easier to kill his own people than understand what he could do to help them.