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Libyan Leader Moammar Gadhafi Discusses Relations with the U.S.

Aired September 7, 2000 - 1:49 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: CNN will join its sister network, CNN International, Jonathan Mann is conducting an exclusive interview with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

MOAMMAR GADHAFI, LIBYAN LEADER (through translator): Libya stands with them along this line, and not further than that.

JONATHAN MANN, CNN ANCHOR: We are going to welcome our viewers in the United States now who are joining this exclusive interview with Libya's Moammar Gadhafi.

Just to be absolutely certain about what you are saying, Philippine officials say development aid, and perhaps even a million dollars per person is being paid to the hostage-takers. Are you saying that they are not speaking the truth when they make those estimates?

I am not sure if you heard me there, sir, but just to be absolutely clear on a very, very important items, officials in the Philippines say that a great deal of money, both as development aid or as outright ransom has, indeed, been promised. Do you think they are lying? Do you think they are trying to embarrass your government when they say that?

GADHAFI (through translator): This is another public, the (inaudible) charity organization has charitable works all over the world, and perhaps it has developmental projects and programs in a certain part of Philippines that is backwards, where these people live or are. This is before the case of the hostages.

MANN: What about the American hostage, Jeffrey Shilling (ph)? Are your representatives making any efforts to secure his release? and can you tell us about them?

GADHAFI (through translator): We do not differentiate between American hostages and non-American hostages. We do our best to release all of the hostages.

MANN: Can you tell us about relations now between your government and the United States? are things improving? GADHAFI (through translator): The relations between Libya and America are clear. There are none. Do you ask about something specific?

MANN: Well, yes, let me ask you about something specific. The United States State Department issues a global report, on rather report on global terrorism every year, and it has criticized Libya in the past. Its latest report says that, in fact, Libya has not been implicated in any episode of international terrorism in recent years. I am wondering if you take any satisfaction in that? There are indications that Washington is trying to reach out to Libya. There are reports that Libya is trying to reach out to the United States. What can you tell us?

GADHAFI (through translator): Now, I believe there isn't anything that hinders the resuming or normalizing relations between the two respective countries.

WATERS: CNN International conducting an exclusive interview today with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

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