Brussels: The Libyan ambassador to the European Union defected on Thursday, the EU said.
The defection of Al Hadi Hadeiba, who was Muammar Gaddafi`s ambassador to the EU and the Benelux countries, followed a period of discussion with EU officials, an EU diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The move was welcomed by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
"The High Representative welcomes the decision by... Mr Al Hadi Hadeiba, to sever links with the Gaddafi regime, in protest at the violent repression of the Libyan people," Ashton`s spokesman, Michael Mann, said.
"We have been in contact with him and praise his courageous decision to work for a democratic Libya and a better future for the Libyan people."
Hadeiba could not immediately be reached for comment. The EU statement said EU officials would stay in close contact with the envoy as part of efforts to support groups working for a peaceful and democratic transition in Libya.