News / Africa

Libyan PM: No Talks on Gadhafi Departure

Libya's Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi (file photo)
Libya's Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi (file photo)

Libya's prime minister says leader Moammar Gadhafi's departure is not up for discussion.

Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi also said Tuesday there will be no way to have dialogue on Libya's political crisis until what he called NATO "aggression" stops.

He commented after talks with a U.N. special envoy, Abdul Elah al-Khatib, who met with the Libyan opposition on Monday in Benghazi.

In Brussels, a NATO spokeswoman said allied forces will continue military operations in Libya for as long as needed, and that Moammar Gadhafi "cannot wait us out."  Carmen Romero said NATO will keep up its airstrikes as long as pro-Gadhafi forces attack or threaten civilians.

During the same briefing, a NATO military spokesman said Mr. Gadhafi's forces are increasingly using former civilian facilities such as food processing plants and warehouses to launch attacks.

Colonel Roland Lavoie said the government's use of the facilities "transforms" them into military installations which can be legitimate NATO targets.

On Monday, the Libyan government accused NATO of bombing a hospital near Tripoli and said the air raid killed seven people.

Government officials showed journalists what they said was a destroyed clinic in the town of Zlitan, east of the capital. The officials also took journalists to food warehouses in the town and said these buildings were damaged by airstrikes too.

The NATO strikes continue as a number of nations pursue diplomatic efforts to reach a political solution to the conflict between Mr. Gadhafi's government and the rebels seeking to oust him.

On Sunday, the head of Libya's opposition movement said Mr. Gadhafi and his family may stay in the country as long as they give up power and rebel leaders determine where and under what conditions they remain.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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