The days are numbered for Muammar Gaddafi’s rule and a diplomatic solution for his exit is no longer an option, according to an internationally prominent Libyan diplomat who has defected. Hafed Gaddur, Tripoli’s longtime envoy to former colonial ruler Rome, was well-known in Italy as a powerful Gaddafi associate who had Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on speed dial and brokered multi-billion dollar deals between the two nations.
“Gaddafi’s regime is over,” Gaddur said in an interview under the frescoed ceilings of the Libyan embassy in Rome, which now flies the rebel tricolour. “There are no more diplomatic solutions for him. It’s just a question of time now.”
Horrified at Gaddafi’s violent crackdown on peaceful protests, he said he threw his weight behind the rebels on Feb. 25. He cut off all ties with Tripoli in April after deciding Gaddafi would never agree to a diplomatic solution for his exit.
Libya.tv also reports:
Libya’s top oil official became the latest leading figure to desert Muammar Gaddafi today, complaining of “unbearable” violence and adding political momentum to a revolt against the leader’s long rule.
The move by National Oil Corp head Shokri Ghanem, who is also a former prime minister, came two days after the defections of eight army officers including five generals and those in earlier weeks of senior diplomats and other former ministers.
“I left the country and decided also to leave my job and to join the choice of Libyan youth to create a modern constitutional state respecting human rights and building a better future for all Libyans,” he said.