And Gaddafi said, leaning over the chessboard: "I'm for negotiations!" (Continued)

Let me remind you that it was in Tripoli -- the capital of the Libyan Jamahiriya -- that the World Chess Championship was held in 2004. 128 chess players from 56 countries participated in it, including from Russia, China, the USA, Germany and Great Britain. I emphasize that my visit to Tripoli was not of any mediatory or political nature. This was a planned, regular trip to the African continent countries. I expressed my condolences to Mohammed Gaddafi on the death of his brother and relatives. You know that several bombs hit the house of Muammar Gaddafi's son during the NATO bombing (this happened on April 30). His son was killed, Gaddafi's three month old granddaughter and two grandsons died.

I was in this house, I saw ruins -- half a block was demolished. Gaddafi was in this house before the bombing began. He had supper there and went home. I was told that he left at 20:05 and bombs hit the house at 20:11. The house was bombed almost before his eyes. His relatives and friends were killed as well as a children’s nurse and some other people. There were a lot of victims.
On June 12, I was in our Russian embassy and congratulated diplomats on Russia's Independence Day. I got a call from Gaddafi’s son Mohammed, who said that I could personally convey my condolences to Muammar Gaddafi. That’s how my meeting with the leader of this country took place.
Before I came to Tripoli, I read and heard media reports on the leader of the Jamahiriya. The first is that Gaddafi hides in a bunker. The second is that he is ill, inadequate and wounded. But when we arrived at the meeting point it was an administrative building. I was met by an absolutely normal and healthy person. We went up to the second floor and talked for more than two hours. He was a thinking person, a state man worried about what was happening in Libya.
I expressed my condolences on the death of his relatives. I saw the house that had been hit by NATO bombs. There was nothing left of his son's house, only toys and personal things scattered around. I took pictures on my mobile phone and showed it to Gaddafi. That’s how our conversation, which lasted two hours, began.
Here are the words that Gaddafi said at the moment. "I know that they sentenced me, my relatives and close ones to death. But how can a little girl be deemed guilty before NATO?" he said in a calm and sad voice.
He continued to talk about bombing, about what was happening in the country, about the fact that "he was asked to leave his post." Gaddafi said: "But where should I go? And which post should I leave? I do not understand. I do not hold any official post, I'm not a president, I'm not a prime minister and I'm not a king. Some mediators are offering me to leave the country. So, tell them that I am in my homeland, I have lost my grandchildren and children and I will not leave anywhere from here. I will not leave and I will die in this land where my grandchildren, children and ancestors are buried." That was the answer to those who were brandishing the idea of ​​his "resignation."
Gaddafi added that he doesn’t understand why they bomb his country. "I am ready for peace talks with the leadership of NATO. Let them agree on negotiations. I cannot understand what they want specifically. They say only one thing: "Come on, leave the country!"
Gaddafi said: "Let's hold talks with NATO, representatives of Benghazi and those whom they have sent there to determine the future of our country. What kind of country will it be? With a presidency? Well, we will hold presidential elections. A parliamentary? Well, we will hold early elections to parliament! There is a legally elected authority, government and parliament in Tripoli. We will hold early elections, elect a new parliament, appoint a new government or a president, determine its status and it will rule the country. "
Gaddafi called: "Stop bombing! We are ready to begin unconditional negotiations on the part of the Libyan people and government. We will sit down at the negotiating table and begin peace talks to make sure that there will be no more meaningless victims. Let them explain to me and both the government and parliament what we must do to stop the war."

(to be continued)
N. Sologubovsky, correspondent of MK, Tripoli - Moscow, June 14, 2011