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Libya - European Union

Kadhafi aide flies to Cairo ahead of Arab League meeting

Reuters/Asmaa Waguih

A senior ally of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi, Abdelrahman al-Zawi, landed in Cairo Wednesday, an airport official told the AFP news agency. Earlier reports said three of Kadhafi’s planes left Libya Wednesday.

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Zawi, a major general who is responsible for logistics and supplies, arrived in Cairo on board a Libyan private plane, as Kadhafi’s forces attacked areas controlled by rebels opposed to his rule.

THE BATTLE FOR LIBYA

Zawi's visit comes as Arab League foreign ministers prepare to meet at the organisation's Cairo headquarters at the weekend to discuss a no-fly zone over Libya – a demand that was backed by the opposition National Council on Tuesday.

Pro-Kadhafi forces bombarded a rebel position near the key oil town of Ras Lanuf Wednesday, as both sides dug in the east of the country.

Government forces control Bin Jawad and have launched four airstrikes near the town, wounding several rebels, the opposition said.

And pro-Kadhafi forces launched air and rocket attacks on rebels in Zawiya, sources in the town said.

Kadhafi accused the West of plotting to seize the country’s oil on state television and told France’s LCI and Turkish TV that the insurgents are rebels backed by Al-Qaeda.

“If Al-Qaeda manages to seize Libya, then the entire region, up to Israel, will be at the prey of chaos,” he told Turkey’s public TRT channel.

US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron have agreed to plan a "full spectrum" of action against Kadhafi while US officials met with opposition members seeking to topple the veteran leader.

The opposition were also in Stasbourg, France, to ask for recognition by the European parliament and the imposition of a no-fly zone.

But foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton refused to endorse either option before an emergency summit of heads of state and government to be held Friday.
 

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