They were expected to spell out plans for a cease-fire, safe path to exile for Qaddafi – perhaps in an African country – and a proposal to discuss the future of Libya with the opposition and tribal heads.
But Qaddafi has shown no sign of being willing to step down or step away, after nearly 42 years at the helm in Libya.
“Stop your barbaric, unjust offensive on Libya,” Qaddafi wrote in an open letter published on the state-run news agency Jana.
“Leave Libya for the Libyans. You are committing genocide against a peaceful people and a developing nation,” Qaddafi wrote. “It seems that you in Europe and America don’t realize the hellish, barbaric [military] offensive which compares … to Hitler’s campaigns.”
Speaking late Monday, Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim added official anger to the diplomatic moves. “We call upon Obama and the Western leaders to be peacemakers and not warmongers, and not to push the Libyans towards a civil war and more death and destruction,” he said.
President Barack Obama said on Monday night that the US and its allies had “stopped Qaddafi’s deadly advance.”
But while Mr. Obama said the US was not pursuing “military” regime change – that was the task of the Libyan people, he said, and their weeks-old rebellion – the president noted the US would “continue to pursue the broader goal of a Libya that belongs not to a dictator, but to its people.”