Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Opposition council says representative of Libyan leader sought to negotiate his exit, but government denies the report.
"The leaders of Libya's uprising say they are considering an offer from Muammar Gaddafi to step down provided he keeps his assets and avoids prosecution, sources have told Al Jazeera.
Libyan state television on Tuesday denied reports that the Libyan leader tried to strike a deal with opposition forces seeking his removal.
However, a spokesman for the opposition National Council in the eastern rebel stronghold of Benghazi confirmed that a representative had sought to negotiate Gaddafi's exit.
Gaddafi was reported to have sent a representative to Benghazi on Sunday night to discuss a conditional plan to step down, Al Jazeera learned.
The Libyan leader is said to be willing to step down in return for dropping war crimes charges against him and guaranteeing a safe exit for him and his family. He also reportedly wants guarantees from the UN that he will be allowed to keep his money.
Abdel Jalil Mustapha, the head of the opposition National Council, rejected the idea until Gaddafi actually leaves but said the council "may" consider a deal after his exit.
"We rejected this (deal). We are not negotiating with someone who spilled Libyan blood and continues to do so. Why would we trust the guy today?" Mustafa Gheriani, a media officer for the council said.
Appeal for dialogue
On Monday evening, a leading member of Libya's ruling establishment appealed to rebel leaders for dialogue, another sign that Gaddafi may be ready to compromise with opponents challenging his rule....."