BISSAU: Guinea Bissau Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior said Libya's ousted leader Moamer Kadhafi would be welcomed “with open arms” in the west African country, a radio station reported on Saturday.
“If Kadhafi asks to come to Guinea Bissau we will welcome him with open arms and we will ensure his security,” Gomes Junior was recorded as saying by radio station Radio Diffusion Portuguese (RDP).
He made the statement to journalists while attending the inauguration of Cape Verde's new president Jorge Carlos Fonseca on Friday.
Guinea Bissau has not ratified the Rome Statute that established the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has issued an arrest warrant for the fugitive Kadhafi.
The west African nation, known for its chronic political and military instability, had strong ties with Kadhafi's regime, which invested widely in hotels, agriculture and cashew nuts — the country's main export.
Kadhafi also provided uniforms to the Bissau Guinea army and renovated several of its military barracks.
In early August, before rebel fighters launched an offensive in Tripoli, Gomes Junior told a conference: “Kadhafi and Libya are friends of Guinea Bissau. If the Libyan leader wants to come to Guinea Bissau we will receive him with open arms.”
He slammed NATO airstrikes in Libya as a “flagrant violation of the rights of a sovereign country. Behind this, is the fact that westerners want Libyan oil.”
The flag of the new Libyan authority, the National Transition Council — which was raised over the Libyan embassy in Bissau a week ago — was removed on Friday, an AFP correspondent reported. AGENCIES