France: Gaddafi could remain in Libya if he gives up power (UPDATE)

Arab World Materials 20 July 2011 14:57 (UTC +04:00)

previous news was posted at 12:27

Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi could remain in Libya if he agreed to step down, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe suggested Wednesday, DPA reported.

"One of the hypotheses envisaged is that he stays in Libya, but on condition, that he very clearly removes himself from Libyan political life," Juppe told France's LCI television.

Such a deal could see Gaddafi escape trial for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court.

Juppe said the issue of the ICC warrant for Gaddafi's arrest was "not being discussed at the moment."

"There are procedures that have to be followed and we'll see then, as part of the negotiations, what consequences will follow," he said.

Juppe last week said France was in contact with the Gaddafi regime about his possible departure from office, but that the discussions were not yet at the stage of "a real negotiation."

The rebels fighting Gaddafi's 42-year rule have also previously said they could envisage him retiring to an oasis if he and his family agreed to hand over the reins of power.

Juppe reiterated Wednesday that such an undertaking by Gaddafi was a precondition for ending four months of NATO bombardments against his regime.

A ceasefire would require "a formal and clear engagement by Gaddafi to renounce his civilian and military responsibilities," Juppe said.