Gadhafi calls for talks with NATO. Sorta
Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi early Saturday called for negotiations with NATO powers to end airstrikes on Libya.
“We did not attack them or cross the sea … why are they attacking us?” Gadhafi said in a live television address.
“Let us negotiate with you, the countries that attack us. Let us negotiate,” he said, adding that if it was oil the coalition countries were after there was no problem in negotiating contracts.
Gadhafi said he was amenable to a cease-fire but only if it involved all sides and not only his own forces who are fighting against rebels in the east.
Libya “is ready until now to enter a cease-fire … but a cease-fire cannot be from one side,” Gadhafi said.
“We were the first to welcome a cease-fire and we were the first to accept a cease-fire … but the crusader NATO attack has not stopped.”
Gadhafi also said: “I’m not leaving my country. No one can force me to leave my country and no one can tell me not to fight for my country.”
At the end of his rambling speech, Gadhafi reportedly snagged his microphone while picking up papers and tossed it away.
NATO warplanes bombed a site in the Libyan capital Tripoli next to the television building as he gave the address, Libyan state television said.
“A building adjacent to the Jamahiriya building was bombed during the broadcast of Moammar Gadhafi’s speech and that implies a target on the leader of the revolution himself,” the television said after Gadhafi had finished speaking.
The screen flickered more than once as Gadhafi was speaking.