PARIS, July 12 (KUNA) -- More than five months into the Libyan conflict,
with the loss of thousands of lives, Tripoli is now ready for unconditional
negotiations to end the crisis, Prime Minister Al-Bagdadi Ali Al-Mahmudi said
in an interview here Tuesday.
As opposition forces painfully fight their way to the Libyan capital, and
NATO operations appear to be marking time, Al-Mahmudi asserted that his
government would open talks but wants NATO bombings halted first.
"We are ready to negotiate, without conditions," the Prime Minister told
French daily "Le Figaro."
"We just want the bombings to stop and that we can talk in a serene
climate. We cannot dialogue under bombs," he added.
Al-Mahmudi claimed that Tripoli "has nothing" faced with the opposition
rebels who have military, financial and supply support from the international
"But we are saying: we are ready to talk," he stressed.
The Prime Minister said that over 70 percent of Libyan military capacity
had been destroyed, as claimed by NATO.
"We have no planes, no navy, no anti-aircraft. Most of our tanks and our
army are out of the fight. We have no rifles. Today we are the most weak," he
He also alleged that weapons delivered to the rebels, such as French Milan
missiles and other weapons, were being sold in the region to radical groups
and he warned that the instability favoured a rise in radical or terrorist
Al-Mahmudi also claimed that USD 150 billion in contracts for Libya had
been frozen and USD 40 billion of these alone were with France.
The Libyan head of government said that he welcomed indications from France
that combat operations alone would not solve the crisis and negotiations were
The French position is "positive," he affirmed, noting that "only dialogue
"We are ready to undertake discussions as of now... with the Libyans, but
also with the European Union, and in particular with France. Without any
pre-conditions," the Prime Minister stated.
He also claimed that Libyan leader Muammer Gaddafi was ready to accept the
will of the Libyan people relative to the future form of government in the
"Gaddafi says he is ready to respect the decision of the Libyan people that
can choose its form of government, a republic, a monarchy or keep the current
system of the Jamahiria, and he will bow to this decision," Al-Mahmudi
Gaddafi's role "is up to the people to decide," he said. (End)
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