Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Eric Kuvykin follows the article: Compromise with Gadhafi not an option, Libyan opposition deputy says

(CNN) -- The deputy chairman of Libya's Transitional National Council spoke with CNN's Reza Sayah on Tuesday as rebel forces came under intense artillery bombardment from Moammar Gadhafi's forces.

Abdul Hafiz Ghoga discussed the opposition's unwavering resolve to best Gadhafi's forces, condemns Turkey's reluctance to mount more air strikes and explains why his side won't accept any concessions.

CNN: The opposition has convinced the international community to get involved in a very bloody conflict. You also have the backing of the world's greatest military power in the U.S.,­ but all you have is a stalemate. Everybody seems stuck.

Video: The Battle for al-Brega Video

Ghoga: The situation will not continue because the regime is collapsing. They are facing a true crisis and that's why they are looking for an exit. Gadhafi will no longer be able to rule one inch in Libya. That's why he keeps besieging our people with his military machinery.

CNN: One look at the frontline and it's clear these opposition fighters are outgunned and outmanned. You don't believe you can achieve a military victory, do you?

Ghoga: Yes, I am confident we will. We are confident that we will achieve that victory. We are being armed. Our rebels are getting more organized by the armed forces after we set up a unified military command that is now taking over the operation of the battles. At the frontlines of the battlefields, we now have professional fighters from the Libyan military forces.

CNN: Which country is providing you with weapons and training right now?

Ghoga: We are in communication with our brothers in Qatar and also with our brothers in the Egyptian republic and with our friends in Italy and France.

CNN: Are you saying the weapons have arrived or are they on their way?

Ghoga: We can say that, God willing, the weapons are on their way.

CNN: Are you satisfied with the no-fly zone? Are you satisfied with the frequency of the air strikes?

Ghoga: When the command of the allied forces switched to NATO -- one of the headquarters of these forces is now in Turkey -- Turkey's position was hesitant. Turkey is reluctant in its position. Unfortunately, Turkey was against arming the rebels and against the implementation of the UN resolution.

CNN: So you're blaming Turkey for the decrease of the air strikes?

Ghoga: Yes, we blame Turkey, and we condemn their position, because the reluctance in these cases is a very dangerous matter. What does Turkey really want? Do they want to leave this tyrant killing the Libyan people in every city? The whole world is a witness.

CNN: It doesn't look like any side can achieve a military victory right now so that leaves a political solution. The regime has suggested they're open to a deal whereby Colonel Gadhafi would step aside and his son Saif would take over power. Would you consider this deal?

Ghoga: We will not accept Gadhafi or any of his sons or aides ruling us ever again for even one hour. This is impossible. We will never accept that. We said it clearly. We will not accept any compromise, any negotiation, any solution with the current regime.

CNN: What concessions are the opposition prepared to make to end the bloodshed?

Ghoga: What kind of concessions can we offer a regime that is killing its people? We will either win or the other side will defeat. We have no other option.

CNN: Civilians are dying in many countries right now. More people are dying in Ivory Coast than here in Libya. Why do you think the international community stepped up to help you?

Ghoga: The international community has a commitment and that's part of their doctrine to stop the killing of civilians. We are part of the international community.

CNN:­ How much do you think Libya's oil was a factor in the international community helping you?

Ghoga: I don't believe that is the case. We understand that common interests and relations between nations are based on economic and political mutual interests. But I believe that when it comes to this issue, no, that wasn't the case. Does a brotherly nation like Qatar have an interest in Libya's oil? That's not why they (the Qataris) took that great stance in supporting the aspirations of our people.

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