WRAPUP 3-Libya tells UN envoy bombs must stop before talks

Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:31pm GMT

Britain said it had not changed policy but comments by Hague were interpreted as tacit backing for the proposal, floated last week by France, that Gaddafi could remain in Libya.

A rebel leader this week appeared to endorse the view, which would mark a major shift from previous rebel demands that he be tried for war crimes in The Hague.

Deadlines are approaching for the NATO-led alliance, whose U.N. mandate for military action -- granted on the grounds that it would protect civilians -- expires in two months.

Hopes an agreement could be reached before Ramadan have faded as the Muslim holy month gets nearer. It begins next week.


The poorly armed rebels hold a third of the country, mainly in the oil-rich east but also pockets like the Western Mountains near the capital and an enclave including the port of Misrata.

Hospitals in Misrata, the country's third-biggest city, said three rebel fighters had died near the city on Monday and 11 were wounded in fighting on Tuesday.

In Tuesday's speech, Gaddafi threatened to destroy Misrata if the rebels there did not surrender and called on his supporters to march toward the city to cleanse it of criminals.   Continued...

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