Is Gaddafi getting ready to leave Libya?
While Alain Juppé denied holding "direct" negotiations with Colonel Gaddafi's regime, he confirmed Libyan officials were in communication with his emissaries, and that their message was clear.
"Everyone (involved in Libya's civil war) has contacts with everyone else. The Libyan regime sends its messengers all over, to Turkey, to New York, to Paris".
"We receive emissaries who are saying, 'Gaddafi is prepared to leave. Let's talk about it,'" he told France Info radio.
Francois Fillon, France's prime minister, said that a political solution was needed in Libya more than ever, adding that he saw signs one was emerging.
"A political solution is more than ever indispensable and is beginning to take shape," he told a parliamentary commission, which is expected to vote later in the day on whether to extend operations in Libya.
Gaddafi, now clinging to power in western Libya in the face of mounting protests, encouraged a personality cult through the obligatory teaching in schools of his thoughts and philosophies, laid out in a tome known as the "Green Book."
Libyans said neighbors, husbands and wives, parents and children, hid negative feelings about Gaddafi from each other, in case they were denounced to the state security apparatus.
With his pencil-thin mustache and penchant for sleeping in tents, Gaddafi may at times have been a figure of fun on the world stage, but his rule has also been brutal, brooking no opposition.
Protesters have in the past week paraded with a Gaddafi stuffed monkey toy holding an umbrella, and a Gaddafi rat in a cage -- Gaddafi has labeled his protester opponents vermin.
In a burned-out Benghazi government building, anti-Gaddafi activists produce one cartoon after another before pasting them up on the walls. Graffiti in Benghazi's courthouse urged Gaddafi to "have shame" and surrender himself to the "national council of hairdressers."