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Leaders meet to discuss Libya's next step as Gaddafi brothers differ over conflict

Saif al-Islam and Saadi Gaddafi has words of defiance and acceptance last night as world leaders will focus on the future of Libya in Paris today.

Libyans outside the country's embassy in Moscow, Russia which has now recognised the NTC.
Libyans outside the country's embassy in Moscow, Russia which has now recognised the NTC.
Image: Misha Japaridze/AP/Press Association Images

WORLD LEADERS WILL meet in Paris today to discuss the future of Libya as the sons of the ousted leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi took differing stances on the future of their regime.

French president Nicolas Sarkozy and UK prime minister David Cameron will host the ‘Friends of Libya’ conference which will give Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) its first international stage at which to discuss the various issues facing the country in the post-Gaddafi era.

Some 60 countries and organisations will also be in attendance, including Russia which this morning formally recognised the NTC as Libya’s legitimate government.

It comes as Colonel Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam pledged that the resistance to the overthrowing of his father’s rule was continuing.

Speaking from an undisclosed location believed to be on the outskirts of the capital Tripoli, he said: “The resistance continues and victory is near,” BBC News reports with their correspondent noting that given the situation on the ground, his words have a “delusional feel”.

Those words were in sharp contrast to those of his brother Saadi Gaddafi who said he had been authorised by his father to negotiate with representatives of the NTC.

He acknowledged it as “a legal party”, but added: “we are also the government and a legal negotiating party,” reports Al Jazeera.

It is believed that Gaddafi loyalists are now limited to controlling three main areas of the country, Sirte which is the birthplace of Gaddafi and his traditional stronghold, Bani Walid to the south east of Tripoli much further south of this, the town of Sabha.

Rebel forces are focusing on securing control of Sirte in the immediate future with the NTC chair Mustafa Abdel Jalil laying down a deadline of Saturday for pro-Gaddafi forces to surrender or face a full-on military assault.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports this morning that ahead of the Paris conference on Libya, the UN has agreed to unfreeze €1.5 billion euros of Libyan assets.

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Hugh O'Connell

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