March 3, 2011 / 4:35 PM / in 9 years

Libya govt accepts Chavez plan, Venezuela says

Libya's leader Muammar Gaddafi speaks to his supporters in Tripoli March 2, 2011. Gaddafi, orchestrating a populist response to rebels threatening his rule, blamed al Qaeda on Wednesday for creating turmoil and told applauding supporters there was a conspiracy to control Libya and its oil. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

CARACAS (Reuters) - The Libyan government has accepted a Venezuelan plan that seeks a negotiated solution to the uprising in the North African country, a spokesman for President Hugo Chavez said on Thursday.

Information Minister Andres Izarra also confirmed the Arab League had shown interest in Chavez’s proposal to send an international commission to talk with both sides in Libya.

“Libya accepts the proposal to work for a negotiated end to the conflict accompanied by an international commission,” Izarra told Reuters. “Venezuela will continue its contacts in the Arab world and elsewhere to find formulas for peace in Libya.”

Chavez, a former soldier who casts himself as an anti-imperial revolutionary, is a close friend of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and says he believes reports of repression by Gaddafi are exaggerated.

Reports that Chavez’s proposal was being taken seriously by Arab leaders pushed down oil prices after a days-long rally on worries the escalating violence in Libya will hit supplies.

Earlier, the chairman of the rebel National Libyan Council entirely rejected the concept of talks with Gaddafi. Arab League President Amr Moussa told Reuters no decision had yet been taken on the Venezuela plan but that it was under consideration.

Gaddafi struck at rebel control of a key Libyan coastal road for a second day but received a warning he would be held to account at The Hague for suspected crimes by his security forces.

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