Libya: We'll Pull Army Out of Cities If...

Moammar Gadhafi’s government says forces will withdraw if rebels disarm
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2011 7:02 AM CDT
Updated May 20, 2011 7:57 AM CDT
A truck carrying Gadhafi supporters makes its way through an alley in Tripoli's old town, in Libya, Thursday, May 19, 2011.   (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

(Newser) – Moammar Gadhafi’s government has offered to pull its troops out of the cities it is occupying, provided the rebel opposition disarms and NATO stops bombing them. The move was suggested by Russian officials in a meeting with a Libyan delegation in Moscow, the Wall Street Journal reports. Government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim told reporters the army would withdraw “if we could work out a way to guarantee that no arms, no weapons are in these cities—not the government's weapons, not the armed rebellion's weapons.”

“If people are really interested in peace, they should say yes,” he added, saying the move would lead to a political transition of some kind—but not necessarily one that would remove Gadhafi from power. Ibrahim also denied Hillary Clinton’s assertion that Gadhafi’s wife and daughter had fled to Tunisia, insisting they were still in Tripoli. As he spoke, a NATO airstrike hit a warship docked nearby, part of a British offensive against Gadhafi’s navy.

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