Report: Israeli MPs met with Libyan leader's son in Greece

Published January 7th, 2004 - 02:00 GMT

An Israeli parliament member from the Labor party, Efraim Sneh, confirmed that he and another MP, Ilan Shalgi, met earlier this year with the son of Libyan President Moammar Kadhafi, Saif al-Islam. 


Saif al-Islam, reportedly studying in the UK, had delivered a speech in Athens in August, supporting a "one-state" solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and met afterwards with Israeli and Palestinian officials, who took part in the conference.  


On Wednesday, Sneh asserted that the Libyan leader could go as far as establishing diplomatic ties with the Jewish state. 


According to Tel-Aviv based HaAretz, Israel's Foreign Ministry official Ron Prosor left for Paris over a week ago to meet with an Arab official and examine the "possibility of establishing ties with Tripoli".  


Prosor did not propose the establishment of formal ties or the formulation of a peace treaty, the report said, but the aim was merely to "open an initial channel of dialogue with Libya". 


Sneh told Israel Radio Wednesday of an August meeting between Israelis, Palestinians, and the Libyan leader's son.  


"My impression from this meeting was that Kadhafi has made a strategic decision, and he is not a man of small steps," Sneh said of the Libyan ruler. "He will not stop halfway. He could go as far as relations with Israel, and beyond." 


"My impression from speaking to Kadhafi the son, who is said to be his intended heir, is that they are starting to tour the world, to examine this modern world that they wish to join." 


Sneh said that the son spoke of a "fresh concept" of his father's - a bi-national state uniting Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs. 


In August, Sneh had declined to provide details on Saif al-Islam's address in Greece, but from the bits of information that managed to "leak" from the closed-door conference, it emerged that Israelis and Palestinians, concerned that as the years go by, the notion of "two states for two peoples" is fading, are not alone. Saif al Islam, like his father, feels the "missed peace" is turning the concept of a bi-national solution - Israstine -into the only solution for the conflict. 


"There was truly a positive sign" in the talks. "What amazed him during the discussions were the relations between the Israelis and the Palestinians - he expected them to be much more hostile - and the fact that both the Israelis and the Palestinians advised him of the same thing... that the solution of a bi-national state was bad, and that the solution should be two states for two peoples", Sneh said. 


"He was surprised by the consensus. He was amazed by the fact that he was sitting with Israelis, some of whom had filled senior positions in the military and intelligence establishment," said Sneh. 


Two other Israeli figures who participated in the meeting were former high-level officials in Israel's intelligence, Sneh said, according to Haaretz. (

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