Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi today threatened to withdraw from the nonaligned movement, saying it did not do enough to support Libya in its conflict with the United States.
“I want to say goodby, farewell to this funny movement, to this fallacy--farewell to this utter falsehood,” Kadafi said in a rambling 1-hour speech that stunned delegates at the weeklong summit.
He paused in his speech to allow a group of young Libyan women in battle fatigues to chant “Down, Down U.S.A,” like cheerleaders at an American football game. The demonstration was greeted by scattered applause, but most delegates looked on in silence.
Kadafi said he will withdraw his country from the nonaligned movement unless member nations sever ties with the United States and Britain and show “solidarity” with Libya.
Not Intimidated, He Says
He claimed that more than 50 American vessels and tens of thousands of U.S. troops are threatening his North African country, but maintained that he is not intimidated.
And he said he will raise an international army of “tens of thousands” to fight the United States worldwide.
“I shall spread the troops of these forces all over the continents of the world so as to spread fire under the feet of the United States,” Kadafi said, referring at one point to President Reagan as “that petty actor.”
“We will not fight America with the tank or the gun, but we shall defeat them with popular resistance,” he said.
Mugabe’s Strained Reply
The summit was Kadafi’s first known foreign appearance since the United States bombed Libya April 15 in what Reagan said was retaliation for Kadafi’s support of international terrorism. Some of the U.S. warplanes flew from Britain to make the attack on Libya.
Prime Minister Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, host of the summit and chairman of the 101-member movement for the next three years, noted in a strained reply that “not all our members” agree with the Libyan leader.
Mugabe said the movement has condemned the U.S. bombing raids and added: “I think our brother must accept that his membership of this movement has provided him with a platform to air his views and to speak through the voice of the movement to the United States.”
After speaking, Kadafi was asked by reporters whether Libya has now quit the nonaligned movement. Kadafi said in English, “Not yet.”