Libyan rebels reject Chavez mediation proposal

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Benghazi (Libya), Mar 3: The Libyan opposition today flatly rejected a mediation proposal by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to find a peaceful solution to the crisis in the country, a spokesman said.

"We have a very clear statement. It's too late. Too much blood has been spilt," Mustafa Gheriani, a spokesman for the opposition''s self-declared national council set up in the eastern city of Benghazi, told AFP.

Chavez, an ally of Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi, on Monday proposed creating an international peace mission with forces from friendly nations to try to mediate the unrest gripping Libya and avoid civil war.

"We will never negotiate with anybody on the blood of our people. The only way we can negotiate with Chavez is if Gaddafi goes to Venezuela (for good).

"Then we''ll ask him to have Gaddafi back in Libya to be prosecuted by our justice," Gheriani said.

Chavez said earlier this week that any foreign military intervention in Tripoli would be "a catastrophe" as Western countries mulled military action in Libya where more than 1,000 people have been killed in fighting.

He and Gaddafi routinely make public condemnations of US "imperialism" and have exchanged visits in recent years. Ties are so close that Gaddafi was rumoured at one point to have fled to Caracas, before he eventually appeared in public and on television in Tripoli.

AFP

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