Gaddafi may eventually step down as Libya's leader: but not immediately

Published May 26th, 2011 - 08:10 GMT
Might he be a goner soon? Hard to imagine not seeing this face.
Might he be a goner soon? Hard to imagine not seeing this face.

Muammar al-Gaddafi might eventually step down as Libya's leader, the country's Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim has said.

Kaim, however, insisted that Gaddafi was not considering an immediate "exit strategy" and the issue would not be subject to negotiations with the West or NATO.

"This is for the Libyan people to decide," Kaim told The Daily Telegraph.

The Deputy Foreign Minister's comment comes as European Union and African Union officials set out terms for a ceasefire and possible settlement, and the Libyan government sent its own ceasefire proposals to the United Nations.

At least five explosions hit Tripoli, around Gaddafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound, on Tuesday as NATO continued its campaign against the Libyan leader.

NATO says the compound has been used by the regime as a base for troops and vehicles used to carry out attacks on civilians.

However, Libyan authorities say NATO is trying to kill Gaddafi and that the night-time strikes are terrorising Tripoli residents.

The rebellion against Gaddafi's rule began in February, spurred on by uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt that saw the presidents of those countries overthrown.

Meanwhile, South African President Jacob Zuma is to visit Libya next week for meetings with Col Gaddafi in an attempt to resolve the conflict.

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