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Shatwan 'to help Libya' now that he has escaped

Mr Shatwan seen at an Opec meeting when he was energy minister.

Mr Shatwan seen at an Opec meeting when he was energy minister.

Former Libyan energy minister Omar Fathi bin Shatwan said today that he felt he was better able to help the people of Misrata now that he had managed to escape from the port city which is being bomberded by Gaddafi forces.

Shatwan arrived in Malta on Friday on a fishing boat and was granted a visa on humanitarian grounds.

The former minister said he saw no future for the Gaddafi family in Libya.

Misrata, he said, was under constant bombardment. People were being shot at random and essential services, including the water supplies, had been targeted.

Shatwan said he would like to get aid to Misrata and felt he was better able t ohelp, politically, now that he had been able to escape.

He also reiterated the view that ministers in the Gaddafi government wanted to defect, like Foreign Minister Mousa Kousa did last week, but were afraid to do so.

The former minister, who once chaired the Malta-Libya mixed commission, insisted that this was not a civil war in Libya, but the Libyan people against the Gaddafi family.

He said the only way for the conflict to end was for Col. Gaddafi to leave the country, and once this happened, Libya would become free and democratic.

The international community could find a quicker end to the conflict if they simply were to bomb all Col. Gaddafi’s military equipment, rather than stopping at imposing a no-fly zone.

“Nato is not doing the job well,” he said.

Mr Shatwan thanked the Maltese government for allowing him and his family to land in Malta.

“The Maltese know me very well,” he said, mentioning a number of previous Prime Ministers, Presidents and high-profile politicians who he had close contact with in the past.

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