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'Invitation' to Reagan Clarified by Kadafi Aide

January 13, 1986|United Press International

TRIPOLI, Libya — Libya's leader, Col. Moammar Kadafi, said that if President Reagan visited his country, he would "see that I laugh, see that I smile," but an aide said Sunday that Kadafi is not issuing an invitation.

Kadafi told six women journalists Saturday that he has not yet decided what his response would be to the freezing of Libyan assets in the United States, and he told the reporters that Reagan might alter his opinion of him if he came to visit the North African nation.

"If Reagan comes here, he will change his mind," the Libyan leader said in a two-hour interview in a tent at the Bab el Azizya barracks that included his wife, Safiya, and four of his seven children. "I invite him through you.

"He will see that I don't live in the trenches. I don't wear hand grenades and pistols in my belt. He would see that I laugh, that I smile," he said.

Asked if he was inviting Reagan to visit, Kadafi replied, "Why not?"

However, an aide said Sunday that Kadafi's statement "doesn't mean an invitation."

"I don't think it was a serious invitation," said the aide, who requested anonymity and who has proved accurate in the past. "It's a figure of speech. Kadafi is saying he is not a terrorist. He is saying Reagan would find a lot of other things if he'd come here--but he doesn't dare to."

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