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Libya War:Libya still in deadlock

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Laaska News  July 9,2011

Muammar Caddafi. Photo: EPA

Anisimov Sergey
Libya’s leader Muammar Gaddafi has announced readiness to fight to the end and threatened to dispatch hundreds of suicide bombers to Europe in retaliation for air strikes. Gaddafi has also been in talks with the rebels. Through mediators, he continues to set conditions under which he could step down. NATO and Libyan rebels find most of these conditions unacceptable. Our correspondent Sergei Anisimov reports.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says that the conflict in Libya is unlikely to be settled over the next few weeks. Mass protests against Muammar Gaddafi swept Libya in the middle of February, followed by armed clashes between government and rebel forces. NATO’s forces began a campaign in Libya in March. However, there are no signs that the conflict is about to end in the near future, Sergei Lavrov says.

“NATO countries have been carrying out air strikes against Libya longer than in Yugoslavia, where they lasted 78 days. Western capitals insist that air bombardments of Libya should continue until Gaddafi stops posing a threat. These kinds of statements cost high in terms of human lives.”

This week Muammar Gaddafi said that he could go on condition his son takes part in democratic elections which will take place in Libya after his departure. And he requires security guarantees for himself. NATO could accept that. But not the opposition groups in Libya. For them, the mere possibility of the colonel’s relatives running for presidency is unacceptable. Alexander Konovalov, President of the Strategic Evaluation Institute, comments.

“Gaddafi’s name is too popular in Libya to be put on the candidates list. Gaddafi has to accept it that his attempts to cling to power are useless. He will have to go, sooner or later.”

The recent statements by Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, sound strange as compared to his father’s. In an interview published by The Telegraph Saif al-Islam Muammar al-Gaddafi said that none of the Gaddafi family contemplates leaving Libya.

Libya is tired of daily air raids and armed clashes which lead to numerous casualties, including among civilians. NATO forces are tired of the war too. France, which initiated the bombardments, is prepared to make hefty concessions on condition Gaddafi leaves. Paris is ready to defreeze his bank accounts and is prepared to intervene for him to avoid arrest on an International Criminal Court warrant. The crisis in Libya has reached a point where nothing can save it but a diplomatic solution or a compromise. Tatiana Panova, a senior expert at the Euro-Atlantic Research Center of the Moscow State University, comments.

“All coalition forces involved in the Libyan conflict are interested in talks. US Congress is strongly against a ground operation. France wasn’t going to enter a large-scale war from the very beginning. NATO are at odds over Libya, the EU is split too. Ending the conflict is top priority for now.”

Russia has begun to supply war-ravaged Libya with humanitarian assistance. Two Russian planes flew 72 tons of relief supplies, mainly rice, sugar, tinned stuffs and baby foods, to Tripoli and Benghazi. Russia’s leaders say that Moscow is supplying Libya with humanitarian aid on agreement with both parties to the conflict and that much more relief supplies will be coming shortly. Russia’s Foreign Ministry makes it clear that Russia is helping all Libyans in need of help regardless of their political affiliations.

VOR.

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