As the NATO military operation in Libya continues, Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi appealed on Wednesday to none other than U.S. President Barack Obama in an attempt to end the attacks on his country.
White House press secretary Jay Carney confirmed on Wednesday that President Obama received a personal letter from Qaddafi, which was sent to the U.S. State Department and then forwarded to the White House.
Though the White House did not disclose the contents of the letter, The Associated Press quoted the entire three-page letter, in which Qaddafi pleads with Obama to work to end the international military operation in Libya.
“We have been hurt more morally than physically because of what had happened against us in both deeds and words by you,” Qaddafi wrote Obama. “Despite all this you will always remain our son. We still pray that you continue to be president of the U.S.A.”
Qaddafi also tells the President that “you are a man who has enough courage to annul a wrong and mistaken action. I am sure that you are able to shoulder the responsibility for that.”
He adds that “your intervention in the name of the U.S.A. is a must, so that NATO would withdraw finally from the Libyan affair. Libya should be left to Libyans within the African Union.”
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton later rebuffed Qaddafi’s letter, saying he should impose a cease-fire, withdraw his forces and go into exile.
“With respect to the letter you referred to, I think that Mr. Qaddafi knows what he must do,” Clinton told reporters during a joint news conference with Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini when asked about the letter. “There needs to be a ceasefire. His forces need to withdraw from the cities that they have forcibly taken at great violence and human cost. There needs to be a decision made about his departure from power and, as the foreign minister said, his departure from Libya. So I don’t think there is any mystery about what is expected from Mr. Qaddafi at this time. That is an international assessment.”
Qaddafi’s letter and Clinton’s response came as the U.S. is discontinuing its involvement in the NATO-led operations over Libya. Estimates say that as much as 30% of the Qaddafi regime’s military hardware has been destroyed by coalition planes.
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