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Italy leading move to get Gaddafi liability free exile in Africa

March 29, 2011 - London

British newspapers are reporting that negotiations are currently underway to offer Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi a liability free exile.

In London on Tuesday, diplomats from the UN, Arab states, the African Union and dozens of other countries will meet to discuss humanitarian aid and finding a common front in supporting the NATO-led military action in Libya.

At the meeting, Italy will apparently be leading the effort to find Gaddafi a haven in Africa that is beyond the reach of the ICC, reports the Guardian.

"Qaddafi must understand that it would be an act of courage to say: 'I understand that I have to go'," the Italian foreign minister, Franco Frattini, told the Guardian.

The move came amid mounting diplomatic and military pressure on Gaddafi as Britain tries to assemble a global consensus demanding he surrender power while intensifying air strikes against his forces.

Italy has offered to broker a ceasefire deal in Libya, involving asylum for Gaddafi in an African country.

A senior American official signalled that a solution in which Gaddafi flees to a country beyond the reach of the international criminal court (ICC), which is investigating war crimes charges against him, would be acceptable to Washington, pointing out that Barack Obama had repeatedly called on Gaddafi to leave.

British officials said they would rather see Gaddafi face trial, but if his escape was the price of a peaceful settlement they would be able to live with that.


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