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Libya

Kadhafi wants talks, but will not quit power

A defiant Moamer Kadhafi says he will not quit as Libyan leader, but is ready to hold talks with France and the United States. In an early-morning speech on Libyan televsion on Saturday, Kadhafi said he had no official functions to give up and would fight to the death. 

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"We will not surrender, but I call on you to negotiate," he said. "If you want petrol, we will sign contracts with your companies...it is not worth going to war over." The veteran leader also claimed the rebels fighting his forces were "terrorists" from Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia and Afghanistan.

THE BATTLE FOR LIBYA

Meanwhile, Kadhafi's regime has threatened to attack any ships trying to enter the lifeline rebel-held port of Misrata after tanks launched an assault on the western city some 215 kilometres east of Tripoli on Friday.

The port has become a crucial conduit for humanitarian aid to the city of half a million people which Kadhafi has been trying to capture for more than seven weeks.

Nato said three mines were found in the port early on Friday and were being disarmed.

And Washington has announced that Secretary of State Hlilary Clinton will attend a Libya Contact Group meeting in Rome between 4-6 May to discuss how to help the rebels and protect civilians caught in the fighting.

The Contact Group, which is made up of Western countries, Turkey , Arab states, the United Nations, the Arab League and Nato, was formed in London on 29 March.

 

 

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