Defiant Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi told the president of the world chess federation (FIDE) that he had no intention of leaving the country, a source at FIDE office in Kalmykia said.
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who is also a former governor of the Russian constituent republic of Kalmykia, paid a visit to Libya on Sunday as part of FIDE’s “Year of Africa” program to promote the game of chess in African countries.
“Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said he was not going anywhere despite strong pressure,” the source said.
During the meeting, Ilyumzhinov presented Gaddafi with a chess set crafted by Kalmykian artisans.
“They [Ilyumzhinov and Gaddafi] got acquainted in 2004 during the World Chess Championship in Tripoli, and they are on good terms with one another,” the source said.
Libyan state television later broadcast a video footage of their meeting in Tripoli.
Gaddafi, who ruled oil-rich Libya for over 40 years, vowed last week not to surrender despite deadly NATO air raids on his compound in Tripoli and other military targets.
He has called the NATO’s help to the rebels, including airstrikes against government forces, an act of “colonial aggression” aimed at grabbing the country’s oil reserves.
ROSTOV-ON-DON (Russia), June 13 (RIA Novosti)