News / Africa

Libyan Govt Says Ready for Cease-Fire, US Says Offer 'Not Credible'

A Libyan rebel fighter aims his heavy machine gun towards forces loyal to Libya's leader Moammar Gadhafi at Misrata's western front line, some 25 kilometers from the city center, May 26, 2011.
A Libyan rebel fighter aims his heavy machine gun towards forces loyal to Libya's leader Moammar Gadhafi at Misrata's western front line, some 25 kilometers from the city center, May 26, 2011.

Libya's prime minister says the government is ready for a cease-fire with rebels fighting to oust Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi announced the truce offer Thursday, but ruled out the departure of Gadhafi - a key demand of the rebels and NATO, which is conducting airstrikes against government forces.

White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes says Washington believes Gadhafi's repeated cease-fire offers in recent months are "not credible" unless accompanied by actions. He was speaking Thursday on the sidelines of a Group of Eight nations summit in France.

Spain says it received the proposal from al-Mahmoudi and favors a cease-fire, but only under strict conditions. The British newspaper, The Independent, says Libya sent the offer to several foreign governments.

In the latest fighting, pro-Gadhafi forces exchanged fire with rebels on the outskirts of the rebel-held western town of Misrata on Thursday.

NATO also carried out more airstrikes on the capital, Tripoli - Gadhafi's stronghold. At least three loud explosions shook the western city late Wednesday. Libyan government officials said the NATO airstrikes hit targets that include a vocational school.

African Union (AU) leaders are calling for a stop to all military action in Libya to enable a political solution to the conflict. The AU issued the statement at the end of a summit in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

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

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