`Papa` Gaddafi loves camel meat and pasta: Nurse

One of Colonel Gaddafi’s nurses has said he enjoys Italian food.

Updated: Apr 06, 2011, 18:26 PM IST

London: One of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s nurses has said that the Libyan leader is a foodie who enjoys Italian food and couscous with camel meat.

"He likes couscous, which is served to him with camel meat or lamb. And like all people in Libya, he loves Italian food, especially pasta," The Guardian quoted Oksana Balynskaya, one of five nurses on his personal medical team who left the oil-rich country when violent protests began against the regime in February, as saying.

Balynskaya also rubbished speculation that Gaddafi is "not entirely well", saying: "Despite his age, he``s in better shape than a lot of people. He looks after his health and has a check- up every year. As for his [blood] pressure, if only everyone could have that level.”

She also said that Gaddafi or "Papa" as they used to call him, presented them with Italian gold watches every year on the date when he assumed power.

"On September 1 every year, the date when Gaddafi (assumed power), we were given Italian gold watches with his picture on them. People who have been working for him for six or eight years, why they``ve got an entire collection already. You can only tell somebody who works for Papa by their watch," she said.

On being asked about the reports of Wikileaks that had suggested that Gaddafi could not live without a "voluptuous blonde" Galyna Kolotnytska, Balynskaya rejected it saying: "What they are writing about Galyna Kolotnytska is made-up stories,” because Kolotnytska "had exactly the same duties as the other nurses - there are five of us - but was more experienced.