COLONEL GADAFFI has given some of his reasons for refusing to attend the summit of Arab leaders at Riyadh.
He said that he decided not to participate for two reasons.
The first was the failure by Arab leaders and the Arab League to take a serious stand on the confrontation between himself and Saudi King Abdullah Bin-Abd-al Aziz during the Sharm el-Sheikh summit.
Gadaffi noted that what happened there reflected ‘no respect for the summit, the Arab League, and the nation’.
The second reason being that ‘I will not permit myself to be part of a conspiracy that is being hatched by quarters that are hostile to the Arabs, Islam, and the region – I do not allow myself to peddle and implement colonial schemes.’
Gadaffi maintains that the Arab nation will never be able to play an active role in the international arena in light of its weakness, saying that Libya is an African country and wants to distance itself from Arab states.
Commenting further on his decision not to attend the Riyadh summit, Gadaffi says: ‘I will not be part of a conspiracy that instigates the Arabs against the Persians.
‘This will only serve the interests of colonialism. We will not be part of a conspiracy that splits Islam into two parties – Shi’ites and Sunnis – and incites the Sunnis against the Shi’ites.
‘Furthermore, I do not want to be part of what is called Bush’s security plan in Iraq.’
He criticises the Arab leaders for supporting President’s Bush security plan at a time when the Americans themselves reject such a plan.
He goes on to say that he does not want to be part of ‘a historical conspiracy to sell the Palestinian people.’
Gadaffi suggests that ‘Arab leaders should not bother hold a summit and should stay at home because the summit’s outcome has been decided abroad,’ and says that he admires US State Secretary Condoleezza Rice ‘because she sits with her legs crossed, issues orders to Arab rulers, and beckons Arab foreign leaders with her finger,’ adding that ‘Arab intelligence chiefs come running when she beckons them’ and that she comes to the region with the summit’s decisions and agenda in hand.
Commenting on the 2001 Arab initiative, Gadaffi says that Libya ‘objected to this initiative and did not agree to it at all,’ noting that there were many Arab initiatives prior to the latest one ‘that were all thrown in the trash, and so will this one.’
He wonders why the peace initiative only goes as far back as 1967 and why it recognises pre-1967 Israel, and says: ‘What is being offered now is that the Arabs first recognise Israel, and afterwards, after proving their good intentions towards it, let it decide on how to solve Palestine’s problem.
‘This means that nothing will happen.’
He argues that the Palestinians and Israelis already live in a single state, and maintains that ‘it is not possible for two states to exist between the Jordan river and Mediterranean sea – there are 12 million Jews that possibly have the right to return to Israel, where will they put them if the West Bank and Gaza Strip are not part of Israel?’
He insists that the Arab summit is ‘powerless’ and says that ‘orders’ have already been issued by Secretary Rice.
Gadaffi claims he fears for the Jews because ‘their fate will be extinction if they remain on this path,’ and maintains that the ‘entire world hates the Jews and has persecuted them,’ that it was the Arabs who took them in, especially in North Africa, and that he would have been the first to defend them had they not ‘established a Zionist state in Palestine.’
He says that no one wants to resolve the Palestinian issue ‘because no one loves the Palestinians or the Jews,’ and says that Arab countries are pursuing their own interests and that the United States manipulates various causes to fulfil its ambitions, saying that President Bush is trying to avoid a ‘miserable end’ and is exhausting the US economy.
Commenting on the Arab quartet, Gadaffi says that Europe wants to exploit Arab causes to serve its interests, that the United States wants to capitalise on the issue at hand, and that Arab countries want to be seen by the US Administration as active and effective so that it may keep them in power, noting that ‘my relations with America are good,’ and justifying its actions as those of any empire.
He accuses Arab governments of lying to their people on Arab causes so that they may stay in power.
On reports that he plans on deporting Palestinians from Libya to avoid their resettlement, Gadaffi says that if the Palestinians do not return to their land, ‘they will be sold,’ and urges all Arab countries to send Palestinian refugees marching on Palestine with olive branches in hand.
He says: ‘I am confident that the solution lies in the establishment of a democratic state for the Jews and Palestinians and they can call it whatever they want.
‘This is the radical solution, or else the Jews will be annihilated in the future because the Arabs, Palestinians, have more depth – they have 300 million Arabs, forget the rulers, who will multiply with time and come to number in the billions. You cannot establish a pure Hebrew state with its old language and religion and with its prejudice in this Arab surrounding.’
He says that Israel must dismantle its nuclear arsenal, allow the return of Palestinian refugees, and eventually join the Arab League as a Jewish-Arab hybrid state.
On calls for a military withdrawal from Iraq, Al-Gadaffi says the ‘occupation in Iraq must end at once’ and adds: ‘The excuses that certain things will happen if the occupation ends, well, what brought you here so that your presence would entail dangers and so that you would say that if you withdraw so and so will happen?
‘Why did you come in the first place? You take responsibility for these dangers. The colonialism must leave and the occupation must end at once.’
He adds: ‘The Iraqi resistance, like the Hamas of Iraq and others, the armed Iraqi resistance, whether it is affiliated with Al-Qaeda or the Ba’ath, and whether it is Sunni or Shi’ite or Islamist, if it sits down with the Americans at a negotiations table to discuss a withdrawal, then I call on it to offer a truce and stop the fighting and violence in order to give these peaceful negotiations a historic chance.
‘Fighting must bear fruits, and these fruits are to be reaped at this table. Let them stop the fighting, but on the condition that these negotiations address the withdrawal.’
On the Arab role in Iraq, Gadaffi says that the Arabs cannot do anything and are only involved in the Iraqi issue in order to ‘mislead their public’ and remain in power.
Turning to the situation in Lebanon, Gadaffi criticises the current state of affairs in the Lebanese arena, terming the conflict between the government and opposition as ‘farce.’
He underlines the need for finding a solution to the Lebanese crisis, noting that ‘Syria is a safety valve for Lebanon.’
Gadaffi stresses that he opposes the referral of domestic files, such as the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri and the human rights violations in Darfur, to the UN Security Council.
He goes on to say that the world countries’ interest in the Darfur region stems from the fact that there is oil there. He notes a US-Chinese struggle over oil in the Darfur region.
Asked about his opinion on the Iranian nuclear file, he says: ‘Iran has not announced or admitted that it is developing a military nuclear programme. It repeatedly stressed that it seeks a peaceful nuclear programme. If so, then nobody has the right to object.’ He underlines the right of Iran and third world countries to obtain nuclear technology.
When queried about the tense relations between Libya and Arab states, particularly Saudi Arabia and Yemen, Gadaffi denies this, stressing that his country enjoys friendly relations with all Arab states.
He notes that Libya’s mediation efforts to settle the conflict between the Yemeni government and Al-Huthi’s supporters came upon the request of Yemeni President Ali Abdallah Salih.
Asked if he wants to send any message to the Arab leaders participating in the Riyadh summit, Gadaffi laughs, saying that the Arab leaders are helpless and are only implementing instructions imposed on them.
He concludes by voicing his support for all national movements in the Arab world.