Moammar Gaddafi’s son said that the Libyan government is negotiating with France to find a solution to the months-long civil war raging in that North African country.
Seif al-Islam made the comments in an interview published in the Algerian daily newspaper, El Khabar.
We are in fact holding real negotiations with France and not with the rebels, Seif told the Algerian paper.
He added that French President Nicolas Sarkozy told Libyan officials: We created the [anti-Gaddafi] National Transitional Council (NTC) and without France's backing, money and weapons, it would not exist.
Seif also told the paper: The French officially informed us that they wanted to set up a transitional government in Libya. Sarkozy told a Libyan envoy: I have a list and those on it are the men of France.”
Seif also indicated that he has intelligence information proving that the French are sending troops to western Libya to help rebels topple the forces of Gaddafi. (The rebels control most of the eastern part of Libya).
Seif pointed out: According to intelligence reports, France is parachuting troops in western Libya to fight alongside the rebels and attack Tripoli. French special forces deployed in western Libya had organized air weapons drops for the rebels.
On Monday, French foreign ministry officials have confirmed that the Paris government has reached out to the Gaddafi regime in Tripoli, but denied that there were any direct talks underway.
France has always said it wants a political solution. There are no direct negotiations between France and Gaddafi's regime, but we pass it messages in liaison with the NTC and our allies, said ministry spokesman Bernard Valero.
These messages are simple and without ambiguity: any political solution must begin with Gaddafi's withdrawal from power and abandonment of any political role.”
On Sunday, the French foreign minister Alain Juppe said his government will work with the African Union to find a solution to the Libyan crisis but that any such measure would have to include Gaddafi’s resignation.
Separately, France’s defense minister Gerard Longuet has beseeched Libyan rebels to start talking peace with Gaddafi.
They have now to sit around a table... We'll stop the bombing when the Libyans talk to each other and the military forces on all sides return to their barracks, Longuet told Europe1 radio.
They can talk to each other because we provide the proof that there is no solution by force.”