Gaddafi's son says no need for foreign mediation

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 18, 2011 3:57 PM

LONDON (Reuters) - Saif al Islam, the son of Libya's leader Muammar Gaddafi, said on Thursday there was no need for any foreign role in ending Libya's crisis when asked about a mediation offer by Venezuela.

Saif said in an interview with Sky News that he had not heard about the offer by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, but added: "We have to say thank you ... but we are able and capable enough to solve our issues by our own people ... ourselves. There is no need for any foreign intervention."

"...They are our friends, we respect them, we like them, but they are far away. They have no idea about Libya. Libya is in the Middle East and North Africa. Venezuela is in Central America. We appreciate this."

Saif said he had not spoken to his father on Thursday, but on Wednesday had discussed "many things" including the crisis.

Analysts are skeptical Chavez, who like Gaddafi casts himself as an anti-imperial revolutionary and has visited him in Libya six times, can bring any immediate end to fighting in Libya.

Venezuela's Information Minister Andres Izarra said Venezuela's foreign minister spoke on Thursday with his Libyan counterpart, who confirmed that Gaddafi's government supported the idea of an international commission.

Izarra said the Arab League had shown interest in Chavez's proposal to send an international commission to talk with both sides in Libya.

But the chairman of the rebel National Libyan Council rejected the concept of talks with Gaddafi. Arab League President Amr Moussa told Reuters the Chavez plan was only under consideration and that it was up to Venezuela to release more details of its substance.

(Writing by Avril Ormsby; Editing by Diana Abdallah)