- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 3, 2011

Col. Moammar Gadhafi appeared to be scrambling for a political solution to the civil war in Libya, as his favorite son proposed a peace plan and a key envoy headed to Greece on Sunday with a message to the prime minister from the Libyan dictator.

Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, widely seen as his father’s heir apparent before hostilities erupted, offered his plan to British officials late last week through an envoy in London, several sources told The Washington Times on Sunday.

Under the proposal, Col. Gadhafi would step down from his 42-year reign and his son would lead a transitional government to form a democracy, the sources said.

However, the Libyan resistance immediately rejected the plan and repeated its demand that the entire Gadhafi clan and his inner circle must have no part in a postwar Libya, said a former Libyan diplomat and sources close to the provisional government in the rebel stronghold in the eastern city of Benghazi.

“I don’t think there is anyone in Libya who will accept Seif in any position in the future of Libya,” said Ali S. Aujali, who quit as Libya’s ambassador in Washington after the start of the uprising in February.

Rebel fighters chase a vehicle belonging to Col. Moammar Gadhafi's forces in a bid to shoot out its tires as it sped through the front line east of Brega on Sunday. The vehicle was driven by a boy who said he had spent two days in besieged Brega and stole the vehicle in order to return to the rebel side. (Associated Press)
Rebel fighters chase a vehicle belonging to Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s forces in ... more >

In another development, Abdelati Obeidi, a former Libyan prime minister, traveled to Greece on Sunday with a message from Col. Gadhafi for Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, two rebel officials told The Washington Times on the condition of anonymity.

Following the meeting in Athens, Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas said “it appears that the regime is seeking a solution.”

Mr. Droutsas said the message from the Greek side was: “Full respect and implementation of the United Nations decisions, an immediate cease-fire, an end to violence and hostilities, particularly against the civilian population of Libya.”

Mr. Papandreou has been talking by phone with the leaders of Qatar, Turkey and Britain over the past two days trying to find a diplomatic solution to the war.

Earlier on Friday, sources reported an intense firefight inside Bab al-Aziziya, Col. Gadhafi’s military compound in Tripoli.

The Libyan capital has been rife with speculation about the cause of the shooting. Residents cited two top rumors to The Times: a coup attempt by a top general or a desperate bid by the regime to prevent more of its members from defecting.

Col. Gadhafi’s forces and the rebels have fought to a stalemate in the pingpong civil war along the North African coast. Rebels advanced under air cover from a U.S.-led coalition, then retreated from a Libyan army counterattack. Both sides are bogged down in fighting over the eastern oil town of Brega, a sparsely populated settlement spread over more than 15 miles.

On Friday, Mr. Obeidi told Britain’s Channel 4 News that Col. Gadhafi is trying to hold talks with the United States, Britain and France to find a diplomatic end to the war.

“We are trying to find a mutual solution,” he said.

A Libyan government spokesman last week dismissed a cease-fire offer from the resistance because of a pre-condition that Col. Gadhafi withdraw his troops from all cities and allow peaceful protests against his regime.

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