Gadhafi Could Remain in Libya Under French Plan

Posted July 20th, 2011 at 9:30 am (UTC-5)
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France says it is possible that Libya's crisis could be resolved through a plan that would allow embattled leader Moammar Gadhafi to remain in the country if he gives up power.

Foreign Minister Alain Juppe made the comments to LCI television on Wednesday, after President Nicolas Sarkozy met with two members of Libya's opposition Transitional National Council in Paris.

Juppe said one of the options that could be considered would allow Mr. Gadhafi to stay in Libya if he steps out of Libyan politics. However, the leader of Libya for the past four decades has stated previously he has no plans to resign or leave.

France was the first country to officially recognize the TNC as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people. Last week, more than 30 nations announced their support.

Meanwhile, Libyan rebels continue their push to gain control of the eastern oil port of Brega. Rebels say loyalist troops in trucks disguised with rebel flags shelled their positions on Tuesday, killing eight rebels and wounding dozens more.

Also, Libyan state television said Wednesday that NATO forces have been bombing targets in the western town of Zlitan.

In a Tuesday audio address, Mr. Gadhafi vowed again that he will not bow to NATO pressure or the rebellion against him.

Separately, Russian news agencies say Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet with his Libyan government counterpart, Abdelati Obeidi, in Moscow on Wednesday.

Russia has been heavily involved in attempts to mediate between the rebels – who control much of eastern Libya – and Mr. Gadhafi's inner circle.