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Libya: Gaddafi ready to 'step down'; conditions apply

Agencies   |  Jul 06, 2011, 12:56PM IST

Moscow: Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has said he would step down if his security is guaranteed, according to a Russian official.

"The colonel (Gaddafi) is sending signals that he is prepared to relinquish power in exchange for security guarantees," the unnamed Russian official told the Kommersant daily.

The Russian newspaper described him as a high-level source in the Russian leadership.

Read: For crimes against humanity, international court issues warrant against Gaddafi

According to UK newspaper, The Telegraph, his proposal is being seriously considered by the western powers.

France was willing to provide these guarantees, the Russian official said. He has also claimed that France has agreed to work to lift the International Criminal Court indictment against Col Gaddafi and to unfreeze his family’s international assets.

The deal is likely to would include a guarantee of amnesty from prosecution for the Libyan leader; a senior official in the Russian leadership was reported as saying.

Gaddafi wants his son Saif al-Islam to be allowed to run in elections if he steps down, the Kommersant said.

The Libyan government has said it was in talks with opposition leaders, but the rebels continue to demand that Gaddafi stand down and leave Libya.

The Interfax news agency quoted Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, head of the world chess federation FIDE, as saying that Gaddafi's oldest son Muhammad Gaddafi told him that Western forces were stationed in the capital Tripoli to kill the Libyan leader.

However, there are conflicting reports on the matter: Some suggest that the offer was denied in Tripoli, where a senior official apparently said Gaddafi’s future was ‘not negotiable’.

The Libyan government has said it is engaged in talk with the rebels. This claim, however, has been denied by the opposition in Benghazi and by European officials.

Libyan rebels no longer demand Gaddafi to leave the country 
An earlier report in The Telegraph, claimed that the rebels had dropped their demand for Gaddafi to leave the country and said he could retire in Libya after stepping down.

Read more: Gaddafi can quit and remain in country, say rebels as truce offering

The opposition has reportedly expressed its desire for a negotiated deal settlement to the four-month civil war.

Mustafa Abdel Jalil, the head of the Benghazi-based Transitional National Council, reportedly said that Gaddafi’s resignation could bring an end to the conflict.

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