Gadhafi Aides Hint at Willingness to Step Down

French FM Says Officials Confirmed Dictator 'Ready to Leave'

Aides for Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi have been sending envoys abroad with fresh messages in recent days, insisting that he is “ready to leave” and is looking for negotiations on an exit.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe confirmed the reports on France Info radio today, saying his government had received multiple “contacts” but that they did not rise yet to the level of negotiations. The comments came as the French government was mulling a vote on the war.

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon took the news as proof the unpopular war has “constantly moved in the right direction” since French and US warplanes began bombing Libyan cities in mid-March.

Though the Libyan position is noteworthy, perhaps the more significant shift is among NATO’s most hawkish member nations, with France and the US both sending out comments in support of a deal for Gadhafi to leave power. Previously, officials had insisted such talks were unacceptable and that only after Gadhafi unilaterally left office would the bombing of Libya’s cities stop.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.