Members of Muammar al-Gaddafi‘s entourage, including at least a couple of the Libyan ruler’s family members, are apparently acting as (not-so-) secret “peace feelers,” attempting to gauge whether a ceasefire is possible – or, if that won’t work, whether Gaddafii and those close to him can exit the country quickly and safely.
Reuters reports that intermediaries working on behalf of Gaddafi’s entourage have already sent messages to Austria, Britain and France – with greatest emphasis placed on Austria. According to one U.S. national security official, the United States is aware that Gaddafi’s eldest son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, and his brother-in-law, Abdullah Senoussi, have been involved in this plan to determine whether an end to military action in Libya is possible. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confirmed this, telling ABC’s Diane Sawyer that, “I’m not aware that he [Gaddafi] personally has reached out, but I do know that people allegedly on his behalf have been reaching out.”
Governments are said to be approaching this overture “with caution.” Clinton, for one, referred to Gaddafi’s attempts at peace as being, at least partially, “theater, some of it is kind of, shall we say, game-playing…,” adding that, nonetheless, the U.S. would encourage Gaddafi to explore a peaceful end to the conflict in his country.
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