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Defected Libyan ex-PM says ready to create new party


13:28, August 26, 2011

ROME, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Defected Libyan ex-prime minister Abdessalam Abdel Jalloud said here at a press conference on Thursday that he was ready to found a new political party.

Once one of Gaddafi's most closed allies, Jalloud escaped to Rome with his family on Sunday and has now passed over to the rebels' side, ready to take part in the transition phase in Libya and resuscitate himself in politics.

Born in 1944, Jalloud was the prime minister of Libya from 1972 to 1977, known as the No. 2 figure in Gaddafi's regime for over 20 years.

"We intend to create a liberal, lay, nationalist group that may pave the way towards the rise of a free press and a strong public Libyan opinion, where youth will have the leadership," said Jalloud, adding that talks were underway with several different Libyan tribes and ethnic groups.

He accused Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi of being "a tyrant and destroyer" of Libya, expressing confidence that the Libyan people would rise from their own ashes.

"I believe the best weapon for the people is national unity and reconciliation," he stressed.

Jalloud however said that more sacrifices were still required to win the final battle against the regime, warning that no one yet knew where Gaddafi was.

In his opinion, two could be the alternatives of Gaddafi's hiding place: either he might have escaped from Tripoli and try to cross the desert, or he was hiding somewhere in the northern part of Tripoli where he might be remaining until the roads get clear, he said.

Gaddafi, he added, had a habit of changing locations frequently and moving with just a few followers. Jalloud argued Gaddafi might as well decide to disguise himself as a woman to go unnoticed by the rebels.

Talking about Italy-Libya future ties, Jalloud stressed that bilateral relationship would be even stronger in the future thanks to the Mediterranean vicinity and the role Italy played in fighting against the Gaddafi regime.


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