NATO dismisses Gaddafi’s offer of truce and talks

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NATO dismisses Gaddafi’s offer of truce and talks

NATO dismissed an offer from Muammar Gaddafi on Saturday for a ceasefire and negotiations, saying Western air strikes on government forces in Libya will continue as long as civilians are threatened.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Sat 30 Apr 2011, 6:41 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 8:03 PM

“We need to see actions, not words,” a NATO official told Reuters. “NATO will continue operations until all attacks and threats against civilians have ceased, until all of Gaddafi’s forces have returned to base and until there is a full, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to all people in need of assistance,” he said.

The military alliance, fulfilling a United Nations mandate to protect civilians during a bloody crackdown on an anti-government rebellion in Libya, has in the past rejected Gaddafi’s calls for truce.

“The regime has announced ceasefires several times before and continued attacking cities and civilians ... Any ceasefire must be credible and verifiable,” the NATO official said.

He declined to comment whether NATO would be open to meeting Gaddafi’s representatives for talks, if contacts for such talks were made.

Gaddafi said earlier in the day he was ready for negotiations provided NATO “stops its planes” but refused to step down, which Western powers see as a precondition to peace in Libya.

NATO has been in command of Western military operations in Libya for a month, enforcing a no-fly zone over the north African country and an arms embargo.

Its strikes on Gaddafi’s firepower have helped rebel forces but failed to tip the balance in a bloody civil war so far.

On Friday, the alliance said Gaddafi forces had mined the entrance to the western port of Misrata, where rebels have been under siege for weeks and aid agencies say humanitarian conditions are dire.

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