Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaaim
Source: Press TV
The Libyan government has rejected the calls for ruler Muammar Gaddafi to step down made by world leaders gathered at the Group of Eight (G8) meeting in France.
“The G8 is an economic summit. We are not concerned by its decisions,” AFP quoted Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaaim as saying late on Friday.
He added that any initiative to resolve the crisis in Libya would have to go through the African Union.
On Thursday, the African Union called for a diplomatic solution to the crisis as the Western alliance increases the pressure on the Libyan regime to relinquish power.
The members of the G8 on Thursday demanded that Russia assume a mediation role to help bring an end to the war in Libya.
The Libyan deputy foreign minister also rejected Russian mediation and said Tripoli would "not accept any mediation which marginalizes the peace plan of the African Union."
"We are an African country. Any initiative outside the AU framework will be rejected,” he stated.
At the end of the two-day summit in Deauville, France, the G8 members issued a statement, saying “Gaddafi and the Libyan government have failed to fulfill their responsibility to protect the Libyan population and have lost all legitimacy. He has no future in a free, democratic Libya. He must go."
NATO, in accordance with a UN resolution, is tasked with protecting the lives of civilians through the enforcement of a no-fly zone over Libya.
However, numerous civilians have been killed and injured during attacks by the military alliance, although NATO claims that all the targets are “military in nature.”