Gaddafi may seek asylum in Venezuela

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez confirmed on Wednesday that a Libyan delegation was visiting Caracas to seek a peaceful resolution to the conflict and accused NATO of trying to kill his “friend” Muammar Gaddafi.

“Who gave them the right to do this, it’s crazy,” Chavez said of NATO military strikes, which flattened a building inside Gaddafi’s Bab al-Aziziyah compound Tuesday, according to Reuters.

“We are dedicated to finding a political solution to the drama. A delegation sent by Gaddafi has arrived in Venezuela and we are seeking a peaceful outcome,” said Libya’s closest ally in Latin America.

Venezuela is a possible safe haven for Gaddafi should he decide upon exile, but Chavez officials have denied that option is being considered.

“It’s an ideal option to exile Gaddafi to end the Libyan crisis. But the reality is I don’t see any sign so far from the Western leaders to leave Gaddafi alive,” Xu Weizhong, deputy director of the Institute of Asian and African Studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times.

The African Union “urges all involved to refrain from actions, including military operations, targeting Libyan senior officials,” the 53-nation body said in a statement on Wednesday.

Libyan Foreign Minister Abdelati Obeidi earlier accused the West of aiming “to punish Africa through Libya” and to “steal its wealth and colonize it again.”

The battle for the port of Misrata has intensified. “This port is too much of a headache for Gaddafi, so he wants to destroy it at whatever cost,” said Colonel Ahmed Omar Bani, military spokesman of the rebels’ Transitional National Council.

The remarks came after US President Barack Obama formally ordered a drawdown of $25 million in urgent, non-lethal American aid to Libyan rebels.

Separately, a group of representatives of 61 tribes from across Libya called again for an end to Gaddafi’s 42-year rule, according to a joint statement released by French writer Bernard-Henri Levy.

(world.globaltimes.cn / 28.04.2011)

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