Foreign Minister Leo Tindemans said today that Libyan authorities called the Belgian Embassy in Tripoli on Monday night to ask for help in arranging a cease-fire with the United States, hours before the U.S. bombing attack.
"(Belgian) Ambassador Roland Burni reported to me about a Libyan request for a cease-fire,” Tindemans told reporters.
The minister said the Libyan request was promptly transmitted to Washington.
Early today, U.S. warplanes attacked targets near Tripoli and Benghazi in retaliation for alleged Libyan involvement in an April 5 West Berlin disco bombing that killed an American soldier and a Turkish woman.
Tindemans said he was puzzled by a subsequent Libyan denial of the request to Belgium. “It is strange that right now Tripoli denies ever having made it,” he said.
Belgium has been handling U.S. interests in Libya since American diplomatic links with Libya were severed in August, 1981.