Libyan rebels refuse to talk to Kusa after accusing him of having blood on his hands

  • Rebel spokesmen says discussions are 'not on the agenda'
  • UK government says he has 'time-limited' visa and could leave in 6 months
  • David Cameron confirms British army will supply body armour to opposition
  • Nato, Arab League and EU pledges support to rebels
Libyan rebels refused to meet defector Musa Kusa yesterday, accusing Colonel Gaddafi’s former foreign minister of having blood on his hands.
In a rebuke for Britain’s policy of cosseting the former intelligence chief, they said he had no role to play in the movement to replace Gaddafi.
Musa Kusa, who is accused of being involved in the Lockerbie bombing and the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher, was allowed by ministers to fly to Qatar yesterday for an international summit on Libya.
Rebuffed: Spokesmen for Libyan rebels refused to meet with former foreign minister Musa Kusa at a summit in Qatar, saying he has blood on his hands having been part of Gaddafi's inner circle
Rebuffed: Spokesmen for Libyan rebels refused to meet with former foreign minister Musa Kusa at a summit in Qatar, saying he has blood on his hands having been part of Gaddafi's inner circle
Diplomatic officials let him go because they wanted him to talk to Arab leaders about how to oust Gaddafi – even though victims of Lockerbie want to see him put on trial.
But Kusa was snubbed by the Libyan Interim National Council which has emerged as the government in waiting.
Spokesmen for rebels attending the Qatar meeting and those back in Libya made clear they want nothing to do with the former intelligence chief, who was an integral part of Gaddafi’s inner circle until he fled to Britain earlier this month.
Rebel spokesman Mahmoud Shamman said: ‘We did not invite him here. He is not part of our delegation.’
In Benghazi, opposition spokesman Abdel-Hafidh Ghoga said talks with Kusa were ‘not on the agenda’.
A Rafale fighter jet is catapulted for a mission over Libya from France's flagship Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, in the Gulf of Sirte, off the Libyan coast
A Rafale fighter jet is catapulted for a mission over Libya from France's flagship Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, in the Gulf of Sirte, off the Libyan coast

A rebel fighter watches as dust rises from shelling that appeared to be directed towards an ammunition dump in the desert, on the outskirts of Ajdabiya
A rebel fighter watches as dust rises from shelling that appeared to be directed towards an ammunition dump in the desert, on the outskirts of Ajdabiya
Kusa is expected to return to Britain in the coming days.
Senior Government sources said he has only been granted a ‘time-limited’ visa to stay in Britain – meaning he could be gone within six months.
 
A senior official said: ‘There will be no special treatment.’
Foreign Secretary William Hague defended the decision to allow Kusa into Britain last month as ‘ethically right’.
‘He was not invited to this meeting,’ Mr Hague added. ‘But by being here in Doha, he has been able to engage in these wider discussions.’
A rebel fighter escorts his son away from the front line at the western entrance of Ajdabiyah
A rebel fighter escorts his son away from the front line at the western entrance of Ajdabiyah
Stills from footage showing footage showing an RAF Typhoon aircraft destroying Libyan regime main battle tanks this week
Stills from footage showing footage showing an RAF Typhoon aircraft destroying Libyan regime main battle tanks this week

French President Nicolas Sarkozy (left) greets British Prime Minister David Cameron (right) in Paris before a meeting to discuss issues related to Libya
French President Nicolas Sarkozy (left) greets British Prime Minister David Cameron (right) in Paris before a meeting to discuss issues related to Libya
David Cameron last night unveiled plans to supply 1,000 sets of British Army body armour to opposition forces. Arab nations are poised to go further, supplying anti-tank missiles to the rebels.
Yesterday a group of Western powers and Middle Eastern states called for the first time for Gaddafi to step aside.
It is a victory for Britain and France, which are leading the air campaign in Libya and pushed for an unequivocal call for regime change.
Ministers from 21 countries plus Nato, the Arab League and the European Union also pledged to ‘provide support to the rebels, including material support’. ‘Gaddafi and his regime have lost all legitimacy and he must leave power allowing the Libyan people to determine their future,’ a final statement said.
The wording was much tougher than at a previous conference two weeks ago and gave stronger backing to insurgents fighting to end Gaddafi’s 41-year rule.
The group said the rebel national council, ‘in contrast with the current regime ... is a legitimate interlocutor, representing the aspirations of the Libyan people’.
It called for a political settlement, to be decided by the Libyan people, an end to attacks against civilians, and the withdrawal of government forces from towns they had occupied or besieged, including the beleaguered western city of Misrata.
typhoon bomb raid smokescreen


Being nice to Gaddafi failed, admits Blair

By DEPUTY POLITICAL EDITOR

Tony Blair said it was necessary to ‘force change’ in Libya last night as he finally admitted his policy of cosying up to Colonel Gaddafi was a failure.
The former Prime Minister controversially helped bring the dictator in from the cold, promoting  business deals and closer links with Tripoli.
Now he has admitted the policy did not lead to the political changes in the oil-rich state that would have eased a path to democracy.
Deal: Tony Blair with Colonel Gaddafi on a visit to Libya in 2007
Deal: Tony Blair with Colonel Gaddafi on a visit to Libya in 2007
Mr Blair spoke out in defence of air strikes against Libya as Britain led international efforts to step up pressure on the regime.
Mr Blair’s government began selling arms to Libya after his deal in the desert with Gaddafi in 2004.
Those weapons have helped Gaddafi prop up his power base during the month of Nato bombing, sparking calls for more firepower for the rebels. 
Last night Mr Blair said: ‘What didn’t happen – people hoped it would, but it didn’t – was that the external changes in Libyan policy were matched by internal changes.
‘Now what you’ve got over these past few weeks has been totally unacceptable and that’s why there’s no option but take action and force change there.’
His critics accused him of conveniently changing his tune.
Tory MP Robert Halfon, whose family fled Libya when Gaddafi seized power, said: ‘One of the reasons we are where we are today is because the last government approved collaboration with the Libyan regime and with Gaddafi.’
David Cameron last night met French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris where he described the situation in the besieged city of Misrata as ‘appalling’.
He said he would ‘leave no stone unturned ... to put real pressure on Gaddafi, and to stop the appalling murder of civilians’.
Last night Foreign Secretary William Hague refused to rule out asking the Americans to re-enter the war and again provide ground attack jets.
President Barack Obama withdrew U.S. combat forces more than a week ago.
 
 
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