Aisha Gaddafi Reuters 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra)
Aisha Gaddafi, the former Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations and supporter of anti-government movements in Iraq, is lately playing a different role: that of a loyal member of the embattled Gaddafi clan.
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In an exclusive interview to The New York Times published Tuesday, Muammar Gaddafi's only daughter, 36, claimed the rag-tag rebels challenging her father's rule had actually sold weapons to Hamas and Hezbollah. She also spoke of her close-knit relationship with her father and seven brothers, speaking of how the external conflict in Libya had brought them together and disparaging both international politicians and Libyan protesters. The interview, which occurred on Sunday, lasted only an hour, but during it she offered several contradictory statements,both referring to rebels as terrorists who could not be negotiated with as well as calling for talks with American officials. “The world should come together at a round table,” she said, “under the auspices of international organizations.”
According to Aisha, her father's government had been leaning toward producing a democratic constitution of their own accord just before the uprisings began. That document was scrapped, she told the Times
, because “this tragedy happened and spoiled things.”
Aisha, a trained lawyer who served on Saddam Hussein's defense team despite her vocal allegiance with Iraqi insurgents, was appointed by the UN to promote women's rights and fight against HIV/AIDS in her home country in July 2009. She was stripped of that role in February, and subsequently placed under a travel ban by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1970. According to The New York Times
, she finds humor in the vast disparities of her international profile, and her staff have been instructed to distribute an illustrated biography of her entitled "Princess of Peace."
Aisha said Muammar Gaddafi is not worried about his hold on power; rather, he has the utmost faith in the support of his public. Asked about widespread reports that her father's forces had shot and killed numerous protesters, she responded, "I am not sure that happened,” she said. “But let’s say it did: it was limited in scope.”