Colonel Muammar Gaddafi who led a successful coup against King Idris of Libya in 1969 has emerged as an Arab leader attempting to unite Arab nations.
Colonel Muammar Gaddafi who led a successful coup against King Idris of Libya in 1969 has emerged as an Arab leader attempting to unite Arab nations. The 29-year-old Chairman of Libya's Revolutionary Council was the instigator of the Arab Federation.....Libya, Syria and Egypt. Each time crisis flares in the Middle East Gaddafi flies in to mediate or approve, conciliate or condemn. He is kept busy. The recent coup and counter-coup in Sudan is an example, Despite Sudan's decision to stay out of the Arab Federation, Gaddafi supported the Government under President Nimeiry, and condemned the coup leaders. Libya also played a much wider role when a British aircraft on a regular flight to Khartoum carrying two of the leaders of the coup was forced to land at Benghazi. The two leaders were taken off the aircraft and returned to Khartoum following President Nimeiry's return to power.
SYNOPSIS: Hundreds of thousands of Libyans gathered in Tripoli last year for the first anniversary celebration of the coup which overthrew King Idris. Colonel Muammar Gaddafi emerged form the takeover as head of the Revolutionary Council...and therefore the new Libyan leader. Born in 1938 Gaddafi joined the army after attending University. Only four years after joining he was a member of the cadre of officers who staged the successful coup against King Idris. He took the reins of a country whose military is armed with weapons from virtually every country making them. American Starfighters, French Mirages and British armoured vehicles are prominent at military displays.
Soviet made tanks form the backbone of the armoured division. Ironically Colonel Gaddafi is strictly anti-communist. He considers communism to be the enemy of Islam and he is a devout Moslem. Recently he said all the answers to the Middle East problems could be found in the Koran.
Arab unity is Gaddafi's major aim. He makes frequent trips around the Arab world....like this visit to Amman last year for talks with King Hussein. Whenever crisis flares in the Middle East he flies in to mediate or approve, conciliate or condemn. He is vocal in his condemnations as the Arab nations found recently when he bitterly attacked King Hussein's Government for its actions against the Palestine guerrillas.
It was at the instigation of Gaddafi that the present Arab Federation involving Libya, Egypt and Syria, was formed. The Libyan leader wanted the Federation to be wider and he flew to Sudan with President Nasser to talk to President Nimeiry. After much discussion, Sudan decided against joining. Sudan also provided Colonel Gaddafi with another chance to condemn the communist element in the Middle East. Left wing military officers who led the attempted take over were strongly attacked by Gaddafi. When President Nimeiry successfully staged a counter coup, Libya force to Khartoum, to land to Benghazi. The aircraft was carrying two leaders of the coup. The men were taken from the aircraft and returned to Khartoum following the successful counter coup. Gaddafi's critics say he has a lot to learn about politics, but with his constant trips around the Arab world he's getting plenty of tuition.