BENGHAZI, Libya (AFP) – Libyan rebels insisted Monday that the whole Kadhafi family must leave before there can be any truce with regime forces amid reports that his sons are offering to oversee a transition.
Rebel troops made a new attempt to recapture Brega, advancing to the outskirts of the oil refinery town only to be forced back under artillery fire, as hundreds wounded in besieged third city Misrata were evacuated by a Turkish ship.
Former colonial power Italy announced that it was joining France and Qatar in recognising the rebels’ Transitional National Council and said it too would send ships as well as planes to evacuate the wounded from Misrata.
Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini dismissed diplomatic overtures from Moamer Kadhafi’s regime as an envoy arrived in Ankara for what a senior Turkish foreign ministry official described as talks about a possible ceasefire.
After Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou held talks with Deputy Foreign Minister Abdelati Laabidi on the previous leg of his mission, Athens said that Kadhafi’s regime was “looking for a solution.”
The New York Times reported that two of his sons were offering to oversee a transition to a constitutional democracy that would include their father’s removal from power.
But the rebels swiftly rejected any deal that involved the Kadhafi family.
“Kadhafi and his sons have to leave before any diplomatic negotiations can take place,” the spokesman of the rebels’ Transitional National Council, Shamseddin Abdulmelah told AFP.