PARIS, March 7, 2011 (AFP) - Libyan strongman Moamer Kadhafi accused France of interference in the country's internal affairs and blamed Al-Qaeda for the revolt against his regime, in an interview aired Monday by France24 television.
The price for a gallon of gas is seen at a Ugas station March 6, 2011 in Miami, Florida, USA. The national average for a gallon of self-serve, regular gas was $3.50 a .33 cent increase from two weeks ago. This was the second largest two-week jump in gas prices ever, largely due to the events unfolding in Libya. AFP
When asked about France's backing for the national council -- the embryonic provisional government formed by rebels in the second city of Benghazi -- Kadhafi said: "It makes one laugh, this interference in internal affairs.
"And what if we interfered in the affairs of Corsica or Sardinia?" he said, speaking in Arabic.
He claimed there was a "plot" in Libya, evoking the presence of "armed extremists," and Al-Qaeda "sleeper cells."
"We are partners in the war against terrorism," he added
France on Sunday hailed the creation of the national council by the leaders of the armed revolt against Kadhafi, and said it supported its objectives, in a foreign ministry statement.
The council met on Saturday in the rebel-held city of Benghazi in eastern Libya, declaring itself the sole representative body for all of Libya, despite Kadhafi's continued control of the capital and much of the West.
"Those who are bearing arms in Benghazi are Al-Qaida and they have no economic or political claims. They are what you call AQIM (Al-Qaida in the Islamic Magreb)", he added, referring to Al-Qaeda's North African offshoot.
He said the national council in Benghazi "is sailing on a wave of Islamism. If ever the terrorists win... They don't believe in democracy."