By: Frank Fuhrig
Former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, who met slain Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in Tripoli in September 2008, has said his apparent obsession with her was “weird and a bit creepy”.
In her latest book, No Higher Honor: A Memoir Of My Years In Washington, Rice
describes how the eccentric dictator played a montage of video images of her. The clip was set to a tune, written by a Libyan composer, titled African Flower In The White House.
In an interview late on Wednesday on CNN, Rice recalled her relief when the video turned out not to be raunchy.
Gaddafi died of gunshot wounds last month after being captured by rebels, who toppled his regime in an uprising that started early this year.
When rebel forces seized Gaddafi’s compound in Tripoli, they found a scrapbook full of pictures of Rice, who was the first African-American woman to become secretary of state – a post she held from 2005-2009.
She described the photo album as “quite extraordinary, weird and a bit creepy”.
“I had actually known that he had this fixation on me,” Rice said on CNN.
“My job was to go there and do diplomatic business and get out, so that’s what I did,” she said. “But I have to say I did have that terrible moment when he said that he had the video. I am just glad that it all came out all right.”
At a meeting on September 5, 2011, reporters travelling with Rice said that there was no handshake with Gaddafi, who instead raised a hand to his chest in a traditional welcome gesture by the leader, who often made a great show of practising Bedouin customs.
At the time, Rice said afterward that her discussions with Gaddafi were “fruitful”, “wide-ranging” and “positive”. The meeting was the first by a US secretary of state to Libya since John Foster Dulles in 1953.
Rice’s visit to Libya followed the resumption of diplomatic ties and normalisation of relations with Tripoli. The thawing in relations, frozen since a mob burned the US embassy in 1979, came after Libya’s 2003 decision to relinquish its programmes to obtain weapons of mass destruction, along with the payment of billions of dollars in damages for the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.
Source: iOL News