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Rebels expect Gaddafi proposal 'very soon'

world Updated: Jun 26, 2011 01:46 IST

AFP
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Libya's rebels expect to receive an offer from Muammar Gaddafi "very soon" that could end the four-month-old war, a senior official told AFP said Saturday.

Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, vice chairman of the National Transitional Council, said intermediaries had indicated that a proposal from the Libyan strongman was in the works, offering the faintest glimmer of hope for a deal to end the bloodshed.

"We expect to get an offer very soon; he is unable to breathe," said Ghoga.

"We want to preserve life, so we want to end the war as soon as possible," he added.

"We have always left him some room for an exit."

Ghoga said the NTC was not in direct talks with Gaddafi, but understood through contacts with France and South Africa that an offer was being prepared.

"These are the countries chosen by the Gaddafi regime to present a proposal to the National Transitional Council, but we have not received anything to date."

"Any proposal that is brought to us we will take a serious look at it so long as it guarantees that Gaddafi and his regime, his inner circle, do not remain in power," Ghoga said.

South African President Jacob Zuma met Gaddafi in May but left Libya without a deal to end the conflict.

On Sunday, Zuma is scheduled to host the four other heads of state on the African Union's Libya panel ahead of a key continental summit.

The meeting in Pretoria -- which includes representatives from Mauritania, Congo Republic, Uganda and Mali -- takes place ahead of the AU summit opening in Equatorial Guinea on June 30.

Gaddafi, a long-time backer of the AU and forceful advocate for stronger continental integration, held the pan-African body's rotating chair in 2009.

Many AU leaders have publicly criticised NATO's assault on his regime, including Zuma, who earlier this month accused the alliance of abusing the United Nations resolution that justified its bombing.