France Says Qaddafi Can Stay in Libya

He can stay put, so long as he releases power and a cease-fire is called

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France's Foreign Minister Alain Juppé said Tuesday that Muammar Qaddafi could could cut a deal to stay in Libya so long as he releases all of his political power, The New York Times' Steven Erlanger reports. A deal would also have to include an ordered cease-fire in order to release control of the country over to the Libyan Transitional National Council, the official group of the Libyan rebel movement. Juppé discussed the plan with a French TV station:

“One of the scenarios effectively envisaged is that he stays in Libya on one condition, which I repeat: that he very clearly steps aside from Libyan political life,” Mr. Juppé said on the French television channel LCI. “A cease-fire comes about by a formal and clear commitment by Qaddafi to give up his civil and military responsibilities.”

BBC News is also reporting that Qaddafi's removal is not being discussed. Libyan Foreign Minister Abdelati Obeidi told reporters that Qaddafi's removal from Libya has not been discussed during his talks with Russia to broker an end the months long conflict. "We must all work on a peaceful solution in which all Libyans would participate and not just the council in Benghazi," Obeidi said, in reference to a possible deal.

In a separate report in The Times, C.J. Chivers reports on rank-and-file rebel fighters having difficulties with supplies in their fight to hold the progress they've made on the front lines in Libya. Organization among amateur fighters, the failings of desk jockey Generals and an overall lack of resources are plaguing the rebels' progress, according to Chivers. He paints an inspiring picture of the roster of rebel forces fighting to free their country from Qaddafi's control:

The rebels in the mountains cut across many boundaries, and often the composition of their units breaks through distinctions in class, ethnicity and tribe. Side by side in fighting groups are university students and their professors, laborers and accountants, lawyers and petroleum engineers. In one group, an air traffic controller worked beside a lecturer from Gharyan University’s faculty of law.

The Guardian is reporting that rebels are moving towards Ziltan, a town just outside of Misrata, and that they're struggling to capture Brega, a town in Eastern Libya. Brega is a government-controlled town home to an oil refinery, a valuable resource in an extensive, long-term battle. At the end of The Times' report on Qaddafi staying in Libya, rebel leaders in Misrata are quoted saying that Tripoli, the capitol, is, "a surrounded city, and there are revolutionaries inside the city. We’re 150 kilometers away from Tripoli, and with a little bit of help from some friends, we will be in Tripoli very soon.” Unfortunately, we've heard similar reports before.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.