US envoy, rebel military chief speak on phone: Libyan TV
  • This Section
  • Latest
  • Web Wrap
Last Updated: Friday, March 11, 2011, 00:02
  
Tripoli: Libyan state television on Thursday broadcast what it said was a tape of a telephone conversation between the US ambassador to Tripoli and the rebels' military chief Omar al-Hariri.

In the seven-minute audiotape Ambassador Gene Cretz reportedly speaks to Hariri about the uprising and his ties to the self-proclaimed 30-member national council set up by the rebels in the eastern city of Benghazi.

The US envoy started off the conversation by introducing himself in broken Arabic before speaking in English through an interpreter.

"Salam aleykom (peace be upon you). Mr Hariri? I am Gene Cretz, the US ambassador to Tripoli," the envoy said, according to the television.

He asked Hariri about the rebels and if he had any contact with those holed up in the western cities of Zawiyah and Misrata, which have been rocked by heavy fighting between pro- and anti-Gaddafi forces.

Asked about his links to the council, Hariri said: "I am a member of the transitional council... I am in charge of military forces under the supervision of the council."

He added that he hoped he could send "assistance" to the rebels in Misrata and Zawiyah.

The ambassador also asked Hariri if he was in touch with any of the forces loyal to Libyan strongman Moamer Gaddafi.

"I am responsible for the forces deployed in the freed areas which are in the east of Libya. The other forces are opposed to us and are in the west... In any case I will not reveal all my capabilities," Hariri said.

The ambassador then asked Hariri if there was a "safe way" of contacting him again.

Hariri said they should find a way but that he did not have the technical know-how. At that point the interpreter interrupted the conversation to say: "You can make a suggestion later and we will think together of the safest way to contact you."

Before ending the conversation, Cretz asked Hariri: "What equipment and assistance do you need."

Cretz left Libya on January 2 after a secret dispatch published by WikiLeaks in which the US envoy says that the Libyan leader will only travel abroad with his Ukrainian blonde female nurse.

The report gave no indication from which location Cretz made the call.

Yesterday, the Libyan regime offered a bounty of nearly USD 500,000 for the capture of the council's chairman, former justice minister Mustafa Abdel Jalil, while Gaddafi branded members of the group as traitors.=

PTI


First Published: Friday, March 11, 2011, 00:02


comments powered by Disqus