Libya says ready for reforms, Gaddafi won’t step down
TRIPOLI, April 5 (Xinhua) — The Libyan government said Tuesday it was ready to negotiate reforms, but refused any talk of Muammar Gaddafi stepping down, according to Al-Arabiya TV.
“What kind of political system is implemented in the country? This is negotiable, we can talk about it,” said Information Minister Moussa Ibrahim.
“We can have anything, elections, referendums,” he said, adding that “Gaddafi’s future was non-negotiable,” he stressed.
“We think he (Gaddafi) is very important to lead any transition to a democratic and transparent model,” Ibrahim said.
Ibrahim also brushed aside allegations that Gaddafi’s forces were committing atrocities on civilians.
“We are fighting armed militia and you are not civilian if you take up arms against the state,” he said.
Fierce fighting continued in Libya and opposition fighters launched a new attempt to recapture the oil refinery town of Brega.
A coalition strike destroyed at least two military vehicles of Gaddafi in Brega, helping rebels surge toward the town.
The town has a great significant as it along with the eastern town of Ras Lanuf make up the lion’s share of Libya’s 1.5 million barrels of daily exports, which have been radically affected by the uprising that began on Feb. 15.
Libyan gov’t says ready for reform, but Gaddafi must remain leader
TRIPOLI, April 5 (Xinhua) — A Libyan government spokesman said Monday the country is open to political reforms and elections, but Muammar Gaddafi must remain as the Libyan leader.
“We are ready for political solutions: constitution, election, anything, but the leader has to lead this forward,” Mussa Ibrahim said.
The spokesman said the Libyan people, rather than other countries, must decide the country’s future and whether the Libyan leader should stay or go.
He added no conditions could be imposed on Libya from abroad, even though the country was ready to negotiate proposals for changes and reform.
“Don’t decide our future from abroad, give us a proposal for change from within,” he said.
He accused some Western politicians of trying to force Gaddafi to step down out of personal gains or economic interests, and denied allegations that the government troops were involved in any attacks against civilians.
Meanwhile, the spokesman expressed regrets over Italy’s decision to back the rebel forces.
Earlier on Monday, Italy’s Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said his country has decided to recognize the legitimacy of the Interim Transitional National Council established by Libya’s rebels.
“We have decided to recognize the Libyan National Transitional Council as the sole legitimate interlocutor for bilateral affairs with Libya,” Frattini said.