US mediator says top Libyan echelon wants peace

Updated: 2011-04-08 11:00


Twitter Facebook Myspace Yahoo! Linkedin Mixx

WASHINGTON - A former US congressman mediating in Libya said on Thursday that the general thrust of the top Libyan echelon is they want peace and want to find a way out of the ongoing conflict.

Curt Weldon, a former Republican congressman from Pennsylvania, told CNN that since his arrival in Libya on Wednesday, he has met with Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi's Chief of Staff Bashir Salah, Gadhafi's son Saif and Libyan Prime Minister Al Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi.

Related readings:
US mediator says top Libyan echelon wants peace Libya takes Britain to task over key oilfield bombing
US mediator says top Libyan echelon wants peace NATO denies bombing Libya's largest oil field
US mediator says top Libyan echelon wants peace Libya contact group to meet in Doha on April 13
US mediator says top Libyan echelon wants peace UN chief concerns humanitarian situation in Libya
US mediator says top Libyan echelon wants peace US eases off in Libya, Gadhafi holds on

"And the general thrust is obviously that they want peace and they want to find a way out of this," said Weldon, who came to Libya at Salah's invitation. The US State Department said he is not representing the US government.

"Our only mission here is to talk face-to-face with them and say this is reality and this is a grave situation, and you need to do certain things that we suggest that we think will get our administration to respond to your actions," Weldon told CNN. "We don't have a different agenda. There's no compromise on our part."

In response to a recent personal appeal for NATO's halt of airstrikes by Gadhafi through a letter to President Barack Obama, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday demanded the Libyan leader withdraw his forces from cities his forces control and go into exile.

The United States and its NATO allies have been pounding Libya since March 19 to enforce a no-fly zone there and protect the Libyan civilians as authorized by a UN Security Council resolution, while the Libyan opposition forces are fighting with the government military over control of cities.

Weldon said that he has not taken anything from Libya "in the way of financial benefits," adding that "I'm here only because I want to avoid war. I don't want to see American soldiers killed and I don't want to see more innocent Libyans killed."

He said that when he meets face-to-face with Gadhafi, he will " absolutely" tell him to step down. "Now it's time for someone to sit in the tent face-to-face with Colonel Gadhafi and let him know how grave this situation is, and I'm willing to do that," he explained. "And I think I'm probably the best person because I've met with him three times."

He said that he and his private delegation will wait until Friday for Gadhafi to meet them. "We're not going to stay beyond that," he added.


Green light

F1 sponsors expect lucrative returns from Shanghai pit stop

Buying into the romance
Born to fly
Light of hope

European Edition


Share your China stories!

Foreign readers are invited to share your China stories.

No more Mr. Bad Guy

Italian actor plans to smash ‘foreign devil’ myth and become the first white kungfu star made in China.

Art auctions

China accounted for 33% of global fine art sales.

Beloved polar bear died
Panic buying of salt
'Super moon'