Gaddafi – No longer “Mad Dog” of Middle East
Once called the “mad dog of the Middle East” by President Ronald Reagan, Libya’s leader Muammar Gaddafi will meet U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice this week.
Senior State Department official David Welch told reporters he had met Gaddafi — “a person of personality and experience” — several times.
“We don’t refer to Colonel Gaddafi in those terms today,” said Welch when asked about Reagan’s derogatory reference.
He anticipated Rice, America’s most senior diplomat, was “quite capable” of meeting with Gaddafi and looking after U.S. interests.
“She is anticipating this one with great interest,” he said of the upcoming Tripoli encounter.
No word on whether the meeting — the first between Libya and a U.S. secretary of state since 1953 — will take place in one of Gaddafi’s tents.