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Libyan ex-foreign minister leaving for Qatar talks: London

Libyan former foreign minister Mussa Kussa is leaving Britain on Tuesday for talks in Qatar ahead of a meeting there of an international contact group on Libya, the Foreign Office said.



London: Libyan former foreign minister
Mussa Kussa is leaving Britain on Tuesday for talks in Qatar ahead
of a meeting there of an international contact group on Libya,
the Foreign Office said.

"We understand that he is travelling today to Doha to
meet with the Qatari government and a range of other Libyan
representatives to offer insights in advance of the contact
group meeting," a Foreign Office spokeswoman said.

She declined to give any more details on his plans,
including whether he had already left Britain or whether he
intended to return, saying: "Mussa Kussa is a free individual
who can travel to and from the UK as he wishes."

Kussa arrived in Britain unexpectedly on March 30 and
immediately quit his post as foreign minister in Muammar
Gaddafi`s regime.

The former Gaddafi regime stalwart was leaving Britain
a day after he broke cover for the first time since arriving
and warned that Libya risked becoming a "new Somalia" torn
apart by civil war.

"I ask everyone, all the parties, to avoid taking
Libya into a civil war," he said in a broadcast statement to
the BBC yesterday.

"This would lead to so much blood and Libya will be a
new Somalia," he said. "We refuse to divide Libya."

"The unity of Libya is essential to any resolution and
settlement for Libya," he added.

"My country lives in a difficult time, it`s the
worst," the former intelligence chief said.

"When the Libyans started to lose security and
stability I decided to resign. I have no contact now with the
Libyan regime."

The Libya contact group, set up at a conference in
London on March 29, will hold its first meeting in the Qatari
capital Doha tomorrow.

While in Britain, Kussa has been in detailed talks
with British officials, although no details have been
released.

He was also interviewed by Scottish detectives
investigating the 1988 Lockerbie plane bombing to establish
the extent of his knowledge about the attack.

Libyan agent Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi is the
only man convicted over the bombing of Pan Am flight 103,
which killed 270 people.

Mussa was head of Libyan intelligence for 15 years
before his appointment as foreign minister in March 2009.

He is however credited with convincing Gaddafi to
dismantle his nuclear weapons programme and renew ties with
the West.

"I came to the UK and I have respect for the people
here," Kussa said yesterday. "The people have historic
relations with Libyan people and we look to them as friendly
people.

"I personally have good relations with so many
Britons, we worked together against terrorism."

PTI

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