Chavez, Kadhafi discuss international peace mission

CARACAS, March 2, 2011 (AFP) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Libya's embattled leader Moamer Kadhafi discussed plans for an international peacekeeping mission to mediate the crisis in Libya, officials said Wednesday.

"We do confirm that Comandante Chavez had a conversation with Kadhafi yesterday (Tuesday) on a Peace Commission for Libya proposal," Communications Minister Andres Izarra tweeted.

Izarra did not offer more details on the talks between the close allies. Kadhafi's whose government has been rocked by two weeks of bloody clashes with protesters seeking to topple his 41-year-old regime.

Chavez on Monday proposed creating an international peace mission with forces from friendly nations to try to mediate the unrest gripping the North African nation and avoid civil war.

As rebels repulsed a fierce onslaught by Kadhafi's forces on a key oil town, the longtime leader warned earlier that "thousands" would die if the West intervened.

The United States and its allies meanwhile cooled talk of imposing a no-fly zone over his country amid growing global calls for action to stop Kadhafi from using warplanes against his own people and to protect refugees scrambling to escape.

Chavez claims the United States is "exaggerating things and twisting things to justify an invasion" of Libya.

Both leaders regularly make public condemnations of US "imperialism" and have exchanged visits in recent years. Ties are so close that Kadhafi was rumored at one point to have fled to Caracas, claims later denied.

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