Ghaddafi thanks Germany, Russia and China

Ghaddafi thanks Germany, Russia and China

Libyan leader Moammar Ghaddafi on state TV, reading from a law book

Colonel Moammar Ghaddafi on Libyan state TV

© Libya state TV

17 March - Colonel Ghaddafi today in an interview thanked the governments of Germany, Russia and China for opposing a no-fly zone over Libya, promising new oil contracts.

The G8 Foreign Minister meeting in Paris today, uniting the world's leading economies, failed to address the situation in Libya, where Colonel Ghaddafi is bombing his own people and committing war crimes on a daily basis, according to leaders from the same countries.

Following pressure from the Libyan protesters and the Arab League, France and Britain favoured a no-fly zone over Libya and the use of military power to implement it. A no-fly zone would have made the current advance of pro-Ghaddafi troops eastwards towards Benghazi, the rebel "capital", difficult.

France's Foreign Minister Alain Juppé said he had tried to convince other world leaders to agree to the use of military force to stop the Ghaddafi advance against the popular revolution. But with no result.

"If we had used military force last week to neutralise some airstrips and the several dozen planes that they have, perhaps the reversal taking place to the detriment of the opposition would not have happened," Minister Juppé stated. But that is the past. ... We have perhaps missed a chance to restore the balance."

Most other large powers, including the US, had been sceptical on a no-fly zone over Libya, fearing it could drag the countries implementing it into a wider war in North Africa. But also the US was open to accept a proposed no-fly zone, without presenting a veto in the UN Security Council.

Security Council members Germany, Russia and China - the two latter being veto holders - however strongly objected any military intervention in Libya, including a no-fly zone. The G8 meet

La canciller alemana Angela Merkel

German chancellor Angela Merkel is praised by the Ghaddafi regime

© Bundesregierung

ing therefore made no statement at all on how to treat the situation in Libya.

Colonel Ghaddafi in several interviews today praised the countries opposing military action, promising them future oil and other business deals in Libya. To the European broadcaster 'RTL', the Libyan dictator said he did not trust Western countries anymore.

As a consequence, future oil and business deals would go to Russia, India and China. But "the Germans have taken a very good position towards us, different from many other important Western countries," he told 'RTL'. Germany would therefore be considered in future business deals. Also, Mr Ghaddafi said, "Germany should have a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, not France."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has not reacted to the hailing from the Libyan dictator. However, German media close to the Berlin government have described the situation as "very embarrassing" for Ms Merkel, possibly forcing her to take a tougher stance on Libya.

Also in the 'RTL' interview, Colonel Ghaddafi said that he was saddened by the position of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. "He is a friend of mine, but I think he has become a mental case," said the eccentric Libyan dictator, claiming he had sources among President Sarkozy's staff saying the French leader was mentally ill.

In another interview today, Colonel Ghaddafi said he and the Libyan army would "join Al Qaeda" if there would be a Western attack on the country. The Ghaddafi regime also on a daily basis accused the rebels in eastern Libya of being attached to Al Qaeda.

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