Gadhafi seeks Venezuela's help in ending conflict

AP News
Posted: Apr 26, 2011 6:47 PM
Gadhafi seeks Venezuela's help in ending conflict

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has sent a delegation to Venezuela to seek peaceful solutions to the conflict in the North African nation, President Hugo Chavez said Tuesday.

Chavez provided few details about the delegation sent by Gadhafi, saying only that "they have come to our country to search for a political way out of Libya's crisis."

Shortly after the violent upheaval in Libya began in February, Chavez proposed the creation of an international peace commission to mediate an end to the conflict. He said his government is continuing to seek a negotiated solution.

The Venezuelan president calls Gadhafi a friend and has been a staunch opponent of the military intervention by U.S. and European air forces. The leaders of Cuba, Nicaragua and Bolivia have taken similar stances.

"They are launching bombs at the military barracks, schools, commercial centers," Chavez said in a televised speech. "Who gave them the right to do that? We are dedicated to seeking a peaceful solution to the drama the Libyan people are living with."

Earlier Tuesday, Chavez stepped up his criticism of NATO's airstrikes in Libya during a meeting of Latin American and Caribbean foreign ministers. He particularly denounced Monday's bombardment of Gadhafi's compound, saying such attacks are aimed at killing Gadhafi.

"How can that be supported?" he said.

"We don't agree with everything Gadhafi does or has done, but who can assume the right, I repeat, to drop bombs ... to achieve the fall of a regime?" he added.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said diplomats from various Latin American countries discussed a "need to break the inertia of the war" in Libya and support the African Union's calls for dialogue between the rebels and Gadhafi's government.