Qaddafi’s wife and daughter in Tunisia

qaddafis-wife-and-daughter-in-tunisiaTUNIS: The wife and daughter of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi crossed over the border into Tunisia several days ago, a Tunisian security source told Reuters.

Qaddafi’s wife Safia and his daughter Aisha came to Tunisia with a Libyan delegation, the source said. The source refused to elaborate and the report could not be independently confirmed. Meanwhile, the men who are fighting to oust Qaddafi have a new goal — they want to represent the oil-producing country at the next OPEC meeting. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, made up of 12 nations including Libya, is scheduled to meet on June 8 in Vienna. Jalal Gallal, a spokesman for the National Transitional Council, told reporters Wednesday that the group has sent a request to OPEC to allow it to represent Libya at the oil bloc’s next meeting. He did not want to name the official the opposition hopes to send until it had a response from OPEC. Gallal said he did not know when the request was sent.

OPEC meetings generally were attended by Qaddafi’s oil minister. However the minister, Shokri Ghanem, was reported to have defected and fled the country earlier this week. Ghanem also was head of Libya’s National Oil Co. The opposition has declined to comment on Ghanem’s flight until he announces whether he backs their cause. Libya, which once produced about 1.6 million barrels per day of crude, is now pumping just a trickle of that volume. In April, Qatar helped the opposition complete the sale of 1 million barrels of crude that netted roughly $129 million for the anti-Qaddafi forces.

The emir of Qatar, a supporter of NATO action against the Qaddafi regime, visited neighboring Algeria on Wednesday for negotiations with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Unlike Qatar, Algeria thinks that the Libyans should resolve the conflict by peaceful negotiation and believes a solution is possible without Qaddafi’s departure. The emir’s last visit to Algeria took place in December 2010. The two countries have enjoyed good business relations, with Qatari groups involved in Algeria’s gas and mobile telephone industries. – arabnews