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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia will never give refuge to Gaddafi - envoy

RIA Novosti

18:59 22/08/2011 MOSCOW, August 22 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will not provide Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi with a safe haven, the head of the State Duma's international affairs committee said on Monday.

Rebel forces have taken control of much of the capital, Tripoli, and Gaddafi's whereabouts are unknown.

"Russia will never shelter Gaddafi. He lost our trust when he ordered attacks on peaceful demonstrations. We will not take in Muammar Gaddafi, [his son] Saif al-Islam, or anyone else with innocent blood on their hands," Mikhail Margelov told the Ekho Moskvy radio station

Earlier in the day, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton urged Gaddafi to step down to avoid further bloodshed.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi also called on Gaddafi to end his "unnecessary resistance" and "save the people from further suffering."

Gaddafi remained defiant on Sunday, saying he "will stay till the end" and urged his supporters to keep fighting to "liberate" the capital from the rebels.

The Russian Foreign Ministry reiterated its call to the international community on Monday not to interfere in Libya's "internal affairs."

"We urge all states to refrain from meddling in Libya's internal affairs and assist the protection of civilians and the creation of a legitimate authority in the country," the ministry said in a statement.

Moscow also expressed hope that the bloodshed in Libya would cease after the rebels take power.

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