Gaddafi transition talks offer 'delusional'

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The Independent Online

Muammar Gaddafi's apparent offer of talks on transferring power in Libya was dismissed as "delusional" by Britain today.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said the National Transitional Council (NTC) was already in charge of the country.

All that was needed from the fugitive former dictator was to order his remaining forces to lay down their weapons, Mr Hague added.

Gaddafi's spokesman Moussa Ibrahim telephoned the Associated Press in New York overnight to make the offer of talks.

He reportedly suggested that Gaddafi's son Saadi could lead negotiations.

In a round of broadcast interviews this morning, Mr Hague said the NTC welcomed discussions.

"They have been conducting negotiations with tribes around the city of Sirte to try to bring the violence to an end," he said.

"But to frame the idea as discussing a transition of power is a bit late now.

"I referred a few days ago to Colonel Gaddafi making delusional statements and this is another one of them.

"A transition of power is already taking place. The NTC ministers are in Tripoli and in increasing control of the situation."

Mr Hague told the BBC: "What is needed from the remnants of the Gaddafi regime is the fighting to stop."