Italy's foreign minister suggested Monday that Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi might agree to end the violence in Libya if he's offered safe haven in a country outside the reach of the International Criminal Court (where President Barack Obama and others insist he be brought to trial).
It's not a stretch to call Qaddafi one of the world's least favorite people at this point, and there aren't many places that would welcome him with open arms. But AOL News' Lauren Frayer has run down a list of the countries whose histories and interests suggest that they might consider issuing an invitation.
Sudan: President Omar al-Barshir is the only sitting head of state ever to be indicted by the ICC. Both men would be safe there, so long as they never ventured into Europe.
Mali or Niger: Both countries are poor and blighted by corruption and could use any money that changed hands in exchange for Qaddafi's safe passage. Plus, they are responsible for some of the foreign mercenaries who were shipped to Libya to boost his forces.
Belarus: The country is believed to be arming Qaddafi's forces, using flights back and forth between Tripoli and a Belarusian military base in Baranovichi. And the rare mix of socialism and Arab nationalism that he used during the Cold War is celebrated there.
Venezuela: Qaddafi is good buddies with President Hugo Chavez — they're probably the two most outspoken leaders of anti-imperialism against the West, and the U.S. in particular. Plus, in 2004 the Venezuelan president received Libya's so-called Qaddafi International Prize for Human Rights. If neither one of them saw the incredible irony in that, they're probably a match made in heaven.
Saudi Arabia: The kingdom has a history of welcoming former dictators — Uganda's infamous Idi Amin, and Tunisia's recently deposed Zine El Abidine Ben Ali — but this isn't a strong possibility for his sanctuary. King Abdullah wasn't too happy when Qaddafi decided to call himself "King of Kings of Africa."
Zimbabwe: Robert Mugabe is a fellow aging African revolutionary who, like Qaddafi, has crusaded against Western influence and colonialism. Plus, Qaddafi's family is believed to hold substantial investments in the country.
Italy: In the early days of Libya's rebellion last month, Berlusconi was the lone Western leader to stick up for Qaddafi, calling him a wise man whom he admired. Last week the Italian premier boasted that he could talk Qaddafi into leaving Libya. "I can convince him to go into exile," Berlusconi said, offering to travel to Tripoli himself. However, Italy, like the rest of Europe, has signed the ICC treaty and would be required to extradite Qaddafi for prosecution.
Any bets on where he might go … or whether he'll ever willingly leave Libya at all? We're not holding our breath.
Read more at AOL News.
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