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British MP: Gaddafi Will Leave in a Year Time

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TEHRAN, April 24 (ICANA) – Andrew Robathan, a Defence Minister and Leicestershire Member of Parliament, says the Libyan dictator regime, suppressing anti-government demonstrators, would be out of power in a year.
Sunday, April 24, 2011 8:41:15 PM
British MP: Gaddafi Will Leave in a Year Time

Robathan said on Friday that the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi would not be able to stay in power under the pressure of the NATO-led forces.

He went on to say that Britain was drawn in the Libya conflict while the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is facing a severe budget cut in both military personnel and equipment.

"I hope that it may be over today, it may go on for considerably longer," said Robathan.

"But I suspect that Gaddafi has a finite source of military hardware, and much of that has been lost already. He may be able to go for a while, but it's a regime that is maintained through fear and that fear is maintained through his military hardware.”

“I can't give an end date, but I maintain a cautious optimism. I would be very surprised if Gaddafi was still in power in a year's time," he added.

Robathoan, who warned Britain to be cautious about not getting deeply involved in another conflict, rejected Gaddafi's claims that any foreign intervention would make the country “another Vietnam.”

The Leicestershire MP added that based on United Nations resolution there would be no occupying forces in Libya and that his country would not get "involved in major ground operations."

In relation to defence cuts, Robathoan said the Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to increase the spending year from 2015, adding that the cuts to MoD would not have any negative effect on the Libyan crisis as the costs of the war are not taken from the ministry's coffers.

"The financial costs of the intervention are being drawn from Treasury reserves, so it is not a burden on the defence budget. We are not alone in paying for the intervention,” Robathan said.

"Other nations are contributing hugely and the UK is certainly not contributing the majority of funds being spent on the air attacks.”

"It's an international, NATO-led effort and it's achieving a great deal. We should remember that Gaddafi said he would hunt down his opponents house by house. He is not a nice man," the Leicestershire MP added.

Robathan said the British government did not know which groups were fighting against Gaddafi.

“What we did see was a frightening scenario that would have led to the butchery of large numbers of civilians, particularly in east Libya, by a ruthless dictator.”

"We went in to protect the population and we've now said we don't see any future that involves Colonel Gaddafi, and most Libyans would applaud that. At the moment we can continue to support operations in Libya while also having a major deployment in Afghanistan, which continues to be our priority.''

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