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Gaddafi Highlights Nuclear 'Double Standards'

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by X-PASTER, Nov 1, 2009.


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    Gaddafi Highlights Nuclear 'Double Standards'

    By Andrew Woodcock, Press Association

    Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi today said that the Palestinians should be allowed to have nuclear weapons if the world does not act to disarm Israel of its arsenal.

    Colonel Gaddafi accused the international community of "double standards" because Israel is allowed to maintain a barely-hidden nuclear capability while Iran comes under massive pressure not to develop its own.

    In a wide-ranging interview with Sky News, Col Gaddafi said he was "sorry" about the death of Wpc Yvonne Fletcher, who was shot outside the Libyan Embassy in London in 1984, but insisted he had no idea who was responsible.

    Just months after the fierce controversy over the return of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi's return to Libya on compassionate grounds, he described UK-Libyan relations as "very good" - claiming that the links continued on an economic and commercial level throughout his country's years as an international pariah.

    And he said the Nobel Peace Prize for US President Barack Obama was "premature" and inspired by "sycophancy" on the part of the awarding committee.

    Col Gaddafi smoothed the path for Libya's return to the international community when he announced in 2003 that he was giving up weapons of mass destruction programmes.

    But asked if he would advise Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to do the same, he told Sky: "Iran, up to now, hasn't said it is manufacturing a nuclear weapon: Iran says it is enriching uranium.

    "If Iran were to manufacture nuclear weapons, nuclear arms, then all of us, including us, will be against them. But Iran has not said so."

    Denouncing the "double standards" which saw Iran treated differently from Israel, he added: "If the Israelis have the nuclear weapons and the nuclear capabilities, then it is the right of the Egyptians, the Syrians, the Saudis to have the same - even the Palestinians should have the same because their counterparts, or their opponents, have nuclear capabilities. Why not?

    "Even the state of Palestine, when one day it is established, should have a nuclear capability because the counterpart of such a state, the Israeli state, already has nuclear capabilities.

    "If we don't want this situation, we'll have to disarm the Israelis from their nuclear weapons and capabilities."

    Col Gaddafi was asked what his message was to the family of Wpc Fletcher, who are still waiting for her killers to be brought to trial 25 years after her death.

    He replied: "I know that such a thing happened. I know a policewoman was shot and killed when she was doing her duty."

    "She is not an enemy to us, and we are sorry all the time and our sympathy, because she was on duty, she was there to protect the Libyan Embassy."

    Col Gaddafi said that his country's relations with the UK were "very good" a decade after the restoration of full diplomatic links, which were broken off following Wpc Fletcher's murder.

    "We have economic relations, investment relations, British companies, banks and, indeed, investments over there in England," said the Libyan leader.

    "Even during the time when we had no diplomatic relations, when diplomatic relations were cut off, British companies were working in the oil sector and British banks were dealing with Libyan banks and we had commercial ties and economic relations never affected, although we had no diplomatic relations."

    Asked about the award of the Nobel Prize to Mr Obama, Col Gaddafi said: "It goes without saying he is an African and we are proud that we Africans, we on the African continent, Africa as a whole, presents someone who is an African to be President of the United States of America.

    "But, as regards the Nobel Peace Prize, I do believe he deserves it, but to be given right now I think it is some sort of hypocrisy, sycophancy, and I think it is premature. It is not due yet."