Qaddafi welcomes Chávez's offer to mediate in Libya
But Libya's leader Muammar Qaddafi appears to be alone in supporting Hugo Chávez's offer of international mediation, which even Qaddafi's eldest son has rejected.
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As international concern grows about Libya descending into civil war, Libya's Muammar Qaddafi has accepted a mediation offer from longtime ally Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. But key international players, as well as Libya's opposition and even Mr. Qaddafi's son, have rejected it.
“You don't need an international commission to tell Colonel Gaddafi what he needs to do for the good of his country and the good of his people,” US State Department P.J. Crowley was quoted as saying by Al Jazeera. Mr. Crowley’s sentiments were echoed by France’s foreign minister who said any mediation that would allow Qaddafi to “succeed himself” were “obviously not welcome.”
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Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, the embattled leader’s eldest son, also dismissed Mr. Chávez’s proposal as unnecessary, reports The Latin American Herald Tribune.
“The Venezuelans have affirmed that they are our friends and respect and like us, but ... Libya is in the Middle East and in North Africa and Venezuela is in Latin America," said Qaddafi’s son, who then added a word of gratitude. "Thank you, we are grateful to them. They are our friends. It’s a nice gesture but we can resolve our own problems. There is no need for foreign intervention.”
Chávez and Qaddafi have a longstanding friendship. Chávez has visited Libya six times during his 12 years as president, reports Libya’s Tripoli Post. During Qaddafi’s visit to Venezuela in 2009, the two leaders exchanged gifts, with Qaddafi giving Chávez a Bedouin tent and Chávez gifting his counterpart a replica of Simón Bolívar’s sword.