HIGHLIGHTS-Libya's Gaddafi says protesters are on drugs
CAIRO Feb 24 (Reuters) - Muammar Gaddafi blamed a revolt against his rule on al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on Thursday and said protesters were fuelled by milk and Nescafe spiked with hallucinogenic drugs, in a rambling appeal for calm. Here are some excerpts of his telephone interview with Libyan state television:
"Their ages are 17. They give them pills at night they put hallucinatory pills in their drinks, their milk, their coffee their Nescafe."
"They are criminals ... is it logical that you let this phenomenon continue in any city? ... We do not see what is happening in Egypt and Tunisia happening in Libya, ever!"
ON HIS AUTHORITY
"Those (in Egypt and Tunisia) are people needing their governments and they have demands, our power is in the hands of the people."
"From a national, moral, ethical standpoint .. they should stop. I have no authority coming from laws or decisions or anything else, I just have moral authority. I only have moral authority. I am like the Queen of England. I have jurisdictions."
ON BIN LADEN
"Bin Laden ... this is the enemy who is manipulating people."
"You people of Zawiyah, stop your children, take their weapons, bring them away from bin Laden, the pills will kill them."
"The calls are by bin Laden ... You (People of Zawiyah) are the extension of the republic system, not bin Laden."
"Bin Laden is the criminal, catch him and present him to court. He is the one in charge of any murder or any disaster."
"Do not be swayed by bin Laden."
"Al Qaeda will not succeed in Zawiyah -- those of bin Laden, they are tricking your children."
"I cannot believe the country is being dragged down to this degree."
"The constitution is clear. Take their weapons. The fathers and the mothers and the brothers of people in Zawiyah are they backing this? Stop 'them' (the protesters). Are they standing behind those people. What is this farce? What is happening in Zawiyah is a farce!"
"I wait from you people of Zawiyah to show that I see you in the right light. Zawiyah is the land of 1,000 martyrs who fought against the Italians and it is the mother of tribes. Zawiyah! Be what I expect of you."
"Remember in the Iraq war, the United States and Britain said they had reason to intervene. Qaeda and the international terrorists work together ... Saddam Hussein had a relationship to Qaeda ... look what America did." (Writing by Dina Zayed)