White House says Libya ceasefire offer not credible

Letter penned by Libyan PM proposes ceasefire monitored by UN, talks with opposition, and amnesty for all sides, reports 'The Independent'.

May 26, 2011 17:54
2 minute read.
Libyans standing on a tank

libya tank celebration 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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DEAUVILLE, France - The United States does not see Libya's latest ceasefire offer as credible because it is not accompanied by action, White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said on Thursday.

Libya was not complying with UN demands, so the United States would continue with the military campaign, Rhodes told reporters at the G8 summit in France.

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Libya's forces were still in the mode of attacking population centers and troops were at barracks, Rhodes said.

Earlier Thursday, The Independent reported that the Libyan regime plans to offer the international community a ceasefire and other concessions intended to end the fighting in the country.

In a letter obtained by The Independent, Libyan Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi proposes that an immediate ceasefire be implemented and monitored by the UN and African Union.

The letter, which will be sent to several foreign governments, also proposes unconditional talks with opposition groups, amnesty for both sides of the conflict, and the drafting of a new constitution.

According to the Independent report, there are signs that Western powers may accept a ceasefire without the precondition of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his family being exiled.

British Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama said Wednesday that Gadaffi must exit his post immediately.

The UK prime minister said: "It is impossible to imagine a future for Libya with Gaddafi still in power -- he must go."

However officials have said talks in Libya should start if government forces end their military crackdown on protesters, The Independent said.

Mahmoudi's letter, however, does not mention Gaddafi's role in the aftermath of a ceasefire.

In the letter, the Libyan prime minister writes: "The future Libya will be radically different to the one that existed three months ago. That was always the plan. Only now we may need to accelerate the process. But to do so, we must stop the fighting, start talking, agree on a new constitution and create a system of government that both reflects the reality of our society and conforms to the demands of contemporary governance."

"We must immediately make humanitarian assistance available to all Libyans in need whether they are in Libya or outside. The cycle of violence must be replaced by a cycle of reconciliation. Both sides need the incentive to move out of their corner and to engage in a process that will lead to consensus," The Independent quoted Mahmoudi as saying in the letter.

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