Gaddafi ready for ceasefire, refuses to step down

Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi said in a live television address on Saturday he was still ready for peace talks with NATO, but has no plans to step down.

The Libyan leader said he would enter a ceasefire only in case all the sides of the conflict and not only his own forces are involved.

“(Libya) is ready until now to enter a ceasefire … but a ceasefire cannot be from one side,” Gaddafi said.

“We were the first to welcome a ceasefire and we were the first to accept a ceasefire … but the Crusader NATO attack has not stopped.”

Previous such offers by the Libyan government have either not been implemented or were soon broken.

Poorly armed and trained rebel groups have been fighting since mid-February to end Gaddafi’s 41-year rule. The unrest in the North African country has claimed thousands of lives, with Gaddafi’s troops maintaining their combat capabilities despite NATO airstrikes against them.

NATO forces say a UN resolution allows them to attack government positions to protect Libyan civilians; but the support has not brought the swift fall of the Gaddafi.

NATO plans to put pressure on Gaddafi until his troops stop attacking civilians, NATO spokeswoman Carmen Romero said on Friday.

MOSCOW, April 30 (RIA Novosti) 

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