Sons seek Gaddafi's removal from power

April 5, 2011 - 0:0

At least two sons of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi are proposing a transition to a constitutional democracy, as the U.S. agreed to keep bombing the country at NATO's request.

The New York Times is reporting an unnamed diplomat and a Libyan official briefed on the plan said the transition would be spearheaded by one of Gaddafi's sons, Seif al-Islam el-Gaddafi.
It is not clear whether Colonel Gaddafi, 68, has signed on to the reported proposal backed by his sons, Seif and Saadi el-Gaddafi, the report said.
But one person close to the sons said the father appeared willing to go along, the paper noted.
The two sons ""want to move toward change for the country"" without their father, The Times quoted one person close to the Seif and Saadi camp as saying.
""They have hit so many brick walls with the old guard, and if they have the go-ahead, they will bring the country up quickly.""
According to The Times, the idea may reflect longstanding differences among Gaddafi's sons.
While Seif and Saadi have leaned toward Western-style economic and political openings, Colonel Gaddafi's sons Khamis and Mutuassim are considered hard-liners, the paper said.
Khamis leads a pro-government militia, the report noted. And Mutuassim, a national security adviser, has been considered a rival to Seif in the competition to succeed their father.
The possible family power-play came as it was announced the U.S. air strikes, part of a coalition effort to protect civilians from Gaddafi's forces, would continue at NATO's request, because of ""recent poor weather in Libya"", the Pentagon said.
The U.S. military had planned to begin withdrawing its combat jets and Tomahawk missiles from the air campaign against Libya's regime this weekend, as NATO allies were to take the lead in bombing Gaddafi's forces.
Meanwhile, Greek officials said Libya was seeking a way out of the crisis, with an envoy of Muammar Gaddafi meeting the Greek prime minister in Athens on Sunday.
Abdul-Ati al-Obeidi, a former Libyan prime minister who has served as a Gaddafi envoy during the recent crisis and is now acting foreign minister, held talks with Prime Minister George Papandreou on Sunday night.
""From the Libyan envoy's comments it appears that the regime is seeking a solution,"" Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas said in a statement after the meeting.
Gaddafi was hit by another defection
Former foreign minister and UN General Assembly president Ali Treiki became the latest official to abandon Gaddafi, after the flight to Britain of foreign minister and regime stalwart Mussa Kussa days earlier.
A British delegation was also reported to be in the Libyan rebel bastion of Benghazi in the east, nearly a month after a botched bid by special forces to contact the insurgency caused red faces in London when the team was captured.
Rebel spokesman Mustafa Gheriani confirmed the presence of a British group in the country's second largest city for talks with the Transitional National Council (TNC) on Sunday.
A British Foreign Office spokesperson also confirmed the trip, saying the team was led by Christopher Prentice, who also visited Libya last week.
The spokesperson said the aim of the trip was to ""engage with key figures"" on the TNC, ""build on the work of the previous team and seek to establish further information"" about the council and its aims.
On March 7, London called the seizure by rebels of a team -- reportedly six elite Special Air Service troopers and two diplomats -- in a botched attempt to contact the insurgency the result of a ""serious misunderstanding.""
(Source: Herald Sun