Canada joins allies willing to compromise on Gaddafi’s future


From Paul Koring and Campbell Clark, the Globe and MailMoammar Gadhafi remains defiantly in power after more than four months of bombing, and the nations carrying out most of the air strikes want to end the war, even if it means allowing the dictator to step down but remain in Libya.

The bloody stalemate in the ground war has dimmed early hopes that ill-equipped but enthusiastic rebels could topple the despot. With the holy Muslim month of Ramadan looming and no military end in sight, Britain has publicly echoed an offer first floated by France that would allow for Colonel Gadhafi to talk his way into retirement.

A senior Canadian official said Ottawa could accept such an outcome. Col. Gadhafi could remain in Libya as long as there are controls to ensure he and his family have no hold on power, the official said.

That matched British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who said: “We are absolutely clear that at the end of the day, Gadhafi is going to have to abandon power, all military and civil responsibility.” But, Mr. Hague added: “Then it will be for the Libyan people themselves to decide what [his] fate will be either inside Libya or outside Libya.” Both London and Paris still rule out any power-sharing or splitting of the oil-rich North African nation.

Chris Day, a spokesman for Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, who visited the rebel stronghold of Benghazi in June, said: “A solution in Libya must be led by Libyans. We’re hopeful for an expedient and peaceful solution.”

After failing to achieve a quick ouster, “there’s a need to improvise a strategy to deal with the military stalemate,” said Roland Paris, director of the Centre for International Policy Studies at the University of Ottawa. “It’s a reflection of the situation they find themselves in.”  (photo: Reuters)

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