Libya's Gaddafi says Tunisia ouster was too hasty

Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:17am GMT

* Libyan leader laments bloodshed, chaos

* Says Tunisian leader would have quit in three years anyway

* Tunisia events resonating in other Arab states

RABAT Jan 15 (Reuters) - Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said neighbouring Tunisia is suffering bloodshed and lawlessness because its people were in too much of a rush to get rid of their president.

Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisian leader for 23 years, was forced to step down after weeks of protests. His overthrow has reverberated around other countries in the Arab world with long-serving leaders.

"I am very pained by what is happening in Tunisia," Gaddafi said in a speech reported by Libya's official Jana news agency.

"Tunisia now lives in fear ... Families could be raided and slaughtered in their bedrooms and the citizens in the street killed as if it was the Bolshevik or the American revolution," said Gaddafi, Libya's leader since 1969.

"What is this for? To change Zine al-Abidine? Hasn't he told you he would step down after three years? Be patient for three years and your son stays alive," Gaddafi said.   Continued...

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