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Dublin: 10°C Tuesday 19 January 2021

Gaddafi calls on opposing world leaders to resign

Talk about turning the tables – fresh from two cabinet defections, Muammar Gaddafi condemns the west’s “power madness”.

Image: Nasser Nasser/AP

A DEFIANT MUAMMAR Gaddafi has called on the leaders of the countries attacking his forces to resign.

The Libyan state news agency quoted Gaddafi as accusing Western leaders of being “affected by power madness” and wanting to create another war between Muslims and Christians.

The defiant statement came after the resignation of Ali Abdessalam Treki, a former foreign minister and UN General Assembly president, who became the second member of Gaddafi’s cabinet to resign within 24 hours.

Treki, who is currently in Cairo, said in a statement posted on several opposition websites that he was not going to accept a government offer to become Libya’s representative at the United Nations – or, indeed, any other government job.

“We should not let our country fall into an unknown fate,” he said. “It is our nation’s right to live in freedom, democracy and a good life.”

Foreign minister Moussa Koussa flew to England from Tunisia yesterday, with the British government saying he had resigned.

Koussa is privy to all the inner workings of the regime, so his departure could have opened the door for the sharing of hard intelligence, though Britain refused to offer him immunity from prosecution.

“We believe that the regime is crumbling from within,” opposition spokesman Mustafa Gheriani said in Benghazi, the rebels’ de facto capital.

Gheriani also described Gaddafi as “an injured wolf and an injured wolf is much more dangerous than a healthy wolf. But we hope the defections continue and I think he’ll find himself with no one around him.”

Libyan officials, who initially denied Koussa’s defection, said Koussa had resigned because he was sick with diabetes and high blood pressure. A government spokesman said Koussa had been given permission to leave for Tunisia, but that the regime was surprised to learn he had flown to London.

“I talked to many people and this is not a happy piece of news, but people are saying, ‘So what? If someone wants to step down, that’s his decision’,” Ibrahim said.

Nations behind the campaign of international airstrikes that have hobbled Libya’s military hailed Koussa’s resignation as a sign of weakness in Gaddafi’s more-than-41-year reign.

- AP

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