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Gadhafi: 'Libya is against terrorism'

Gadhafi said he wants to reassure the international community
Gadhafi said he wants to reassure the international community  


DURBAN, South Africa (CNN) -- Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has said there is no evidence to prove his country is behind any acts of terrorism.

Speaking on Wednesday, he said Libya was at the forefront of the battle against terrorists.

"We term them heretics, actually. They are non-Muslims. They are outside Islam," Gadhafi told CNN Johannesburg Bureau Chief Charlayne Hunter-Gault.

"These are terrorist peoples, and actually they are crazy and mad. ... They are really dangerous and they don't use law, they do not accept law, they do not allow you even to talk to them, and they should be really dealt with accordingly."

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In Durban for a meeting of the new African Union, Gadhafi, long accused by the West of harboring and sponsoring terrorists, said Libya's role in terrorism has not been proved.

"As a matter of fact, actually, we are only the victims of terrorism and Libya is against terrorism," he said.

"I'd like also to reassure the Americans and non-Americans that Libya plays a very important role in combating and fighting terrorism."

Gadhafi referred to "a number of elements from Afghanistan" that he said infiltrated Libya and caused "quite a lot of trouble" -- one of the reasons he would not harbor groups like Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist network or allow them to take refuge in Libya.

"Actually, we are not in need of bin Laden," Gadhafi said. "We don't need his money, we don't need his protection, we don't want to use him or be used by him. We just want to defend ourselves."

If any members of al Qaeda are found in Libya, he said, "We shall arrest them and they shall be put on trial."

Gadhafi said he wants and needs to have good relations with other countries, particularly the United States, because sharing technologies would aid in Libya's development.

He said "American reasons" are to blame for U.S. sanctions against Libya, which Washington has said it will not lift until Libya accepts responsibility for the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.

Libya's continued refusal to do so is one of the remaining obstacles to establishing good U.S. relations, but Gadhafi maintained the Libyan national now serving time for bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 is innocent.

"The whole world -- actually, the observers of the U.N., the observers of the Arab League, the international observers -- they went and witnessed the court," he said.

"They all said unequivocally that the rule of the court was based on political base, not on legal base, and that the accused is innocent. Anyhow, Libya is innocent of that."

The bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over the small Scottish town of Lockerbie on December 21, 1988, killed 270 people.



 
 
 
 






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