Kadhafi headed to Venezuela, says Britain; Caracas denies

Brussels, Feb 21 (AFP) Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafimay be fleeing to Venezuela, British Foreign Secretary WilliamHague said today, citing "information that suggests he is onhis way".

"You asked me earlier about whether Colonel Kadhafi isin Venezuela," Hague told reporters after a meeting of EUforeign ministers.

"I have no information that says he is. I have seeninformation that suggests he is on his way," Hague said aftera meeting of EU foreign ministers focused on the revoltssweeping across Libya and other Arab nations.

A diplomat who requested anonymity told AFP that Haguewas "referring to both speculation in the media and also areport from contacts on the ground".

The diplomat would not elaborate but said there was"no definitive" confirmation that Kadhafi had left Libya.

Asked about Hague''s comments at a press conference, EUforeign policy chief Ashton said: "I don''t know anything aboutVenezuela and president Kadhafi."

A spokesman for Ashton said he had no informationabout the reports but that they were "unfounded rumours" atthis stage.

Venezuela denied that Kadhafi, who is facing protestsposing the biggest challenge to his 41 years in power, was onhis way to the South American country.

Government sources in Caracas told AFP there had been"no contact" with Kadhafi or his administration.

The Libyan leader has close ties with Venezuela''sPresident Hugo Chavez, a firebrand leader who like his Libyanpeer often rails against US "imperialism". (AFP)

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