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Libyan minister could trigger other defections: Analysts

The defecting Libyan Foreign Minister Mussa Kussa could hold the key to persuading other key regime figures to turn their back on Muammar Gaddafi.



London: The defecting Libyan Foreign Minister
Mussa Kussa could hold the key to persuading other key regime
figures to turn their back on Muammar Gaddafi, analysts said on Sunday.

But they warned that the Libyan leader`s close-knit inner
circle of family and clan members is unlikely to be brought
down by the defection of a handful of ministers.

Kussa apparently surprised Libya and the West when he
touched down at Farnborough Airport southwest of London on
Wednesday and announced he was resigning his role.

The man seen as a close confidante of Gaddafi is now
reportedly being debriefed by British intelligence agents at a
safe house.

He has not been seen in public and there has been no
indication of how long he intends to stay or why he chose to
come to Britain.

The interviews with Kussa, a former head of Libyan
intelligence who is described as Gaddafi`s "black box" by
opposition groups, are being conducted in the utmost secrecy,
although his state of mind is said to be fragile.

But government sources have indicated to the media that
he is helping Britain to persuade other Libyans to defect,
possibly because any hopes he may have of a safe exile himself
depend on the Gaddafi regime collapsing.

There are reports that up to 10 senior figures are in
talks with the British government over defecting, although the
significance of a visit to Britain of an envoy to one of
Gaddafi`s sons has been played down.

Dr Alia Brahimi, Global Security Research Fellow at the
London School of Economics, said Kussa`s defection will show
others "that people very close to Gaddafi have made the
judgement that this is a sinking ship and it`s time to defect
now."

PTI

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