Gaddafi regime - including sons - must go, Ashton spokesman says
A spokesman for the European Union's top foreign policy official on Monday said that a succession in Libya involving one of leader Moamer Gaddafi's sons would not be acceptable, DPA reported.
"The position of the EU is very clear - the Gaddafi regime has lost all legitimacy and has to go," said Michael Mann, a spokesman for Catherine Ashton. "The Gaddafi regime, that is people in the regime and as far as I know, his sons are in the regime."
His comments followed a New York Times report that at least two of Gaddafi's sons have suggested the strongman make way for Saif al-Islam Gaddafi to lead a new constitutional democracy as part of a resolution to the unrest gripping the North African country.
"We want the will of the people of Libya to be respected," Mann said. "We want to see a transition to a democratic future in Libya."
The New York Times said it is not entirely clear if the elder Gaddafi, who has been in power for 42 years, has agreed to the plan.
Saif al-Islam, who studied in Vienna and London, is the founder of the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation and owns several commercial enterprises.
He has been at odds with his father before, temporarily leaving Libya in 2006 after criticizing Gaddafi's leadership style. Western powers had since considered him as a possible progressive successor.
Mann declined to comment Monday on what the EU's position would be if moderate members of Gaddafi's regime were chosen to participate in a new government and in Libya's reconciliation, calling it speculation.
A team from Ashton's European External Action Service was due to travel to Libya on Tuesday to meet people in the rebel-held city of Benghazi as part of a "listening exercise," Mann said.