The fighting continues in the Libyan cities of Zawiya, Misurata and Ras Lanuf, while the representatives of the National Libyan Council set up in the rebel Cirenaica claim that they will drop all charges against Colonel Muammar Qadhafi if he leaves power.
The most violent fighting is taking place in Misurata, around 200km from Tripoli, and in the Ras Lanuf area, a strategic port in the Sirte Gulf, where Qadhafi loyalist forces are advancing. Reports indicate that government forces are gaining grounds over the rebel forces in Zawiya, a city west of Tripoli, who were not backed by the anti-government front concentrated in Cirenaica, hundreds of kilometres more to the east.
Mustafa Abd al Jalil, the head of the opposition National Council, today commented on the Libyan situation and possible outcomes. His declarations to Al Jazeera followed voices of an apparent proposal by Qadhafi to resign, in exchange for his safety and that of his family. The only indication of willingness to engage in dialogue remains a speech made on state TV by the former Prime Minister Jadallah Azouz al-Talhi, who urged to give a possibility to “national dialogue”.
To some degree a possible dialogue between the sides in conflict is suggested by international diplomatic moves. There is wide concern over the humanitarian consequences, as also the new political scene in a strategic nation as an energy source.
However, on an official level the only discussions concern the creation of a no-fly zone to protect civilians from eventual air strikes by Qadhafi’s air force. The proposal may be presented to the United Nations Security Council by France and Britain.
The proposal was deemed extremely positive by nations of the Persian Gulf that, headed by Saudi Arabia, today accused Tripoli of “crimes against civilians, use of heavy artillery and recruiting mercenaries”.
The US position remains unclear. Washington last night did not exclude the use of force, though 24 hours earlier it stressed the risk of a military escalation if a no-fly zone should be created.