Gaddafi had "eerie obsession" with me: Condoleezza Rice
Former Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, who was killed on Thursday, had a "slightly eerie obsession" with ex-US Secretary Of State Condoleezza Rice, and referred to her as his "African Princess," she writes in her memoirs.books Updated: Oct 21, 2011 10:49 IST
Former Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, who was killed on Thursday, had a "slightly eerie obsession" with ex-US Secretary Of State Condoleezza Rice, and referred to her as his "African Princess," she writes in an excerpt from her memoirs published on Thursday.
The late Libyan leader met Rice in Libya in September 2008, a historic meeting that signalled the once pariah state''s return to the diplomatic table after decades of isolation, The Telegraph reports.
However, Rice, unlike former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, declined to meet Gaddafi in his infamous tent and instead opted to hold talks at his residence.
"Obviously, the first visit by a US Secretary of State since 1953 would be a major milestone on the country''s path to international acceptability," writes Rice in her book, "No Higher Honor," published online by The Daily Beast.
"But Gaddafi also had a slightly eerie fascination with me personally, asking visitors why his ''African princess,'' wouldn''t visit him," she added.
Rice, who served under President George W. Bush, said that she was warned ahead of the meeting to ignore the Libyan leader''s "crazy" behaviour as he would eventually "get back on track," which she says she realized during the meeting.
"He suddenly stopped speaking and began rolling his head back and forth. Tell President Bush to stop talking about a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine!'' he barked. ''It should be one state! Israeltine!''" Rice recalled.
"Perhaps he didn''t like what I said next. In a sudden fit, he fired two translators in the room. ''OK.'' I thought, ''this is Gaddafi.''"
Rice had met Gaddafi, who was once described by former US President Ronald Reagan as a "mad dog", took place in his Tripli residence, Bab al Azizia.
Gaddafi had reportedly insisted Rice to join him for dinner in his private kitchen in the house, where he later presented her with a collection of photos of the US diplomat''s meetings with world leaders, set to the music of a song called "Black Flower in the White House," written for Rice by a Libyan composer.
First Published: Oct 21, 2011 10:49 IST