13 Apr 2011

Hague in Doha for Libya talks

Foreign Secretary William Hague is attending international talks on the Libya conflict in Doha, amid fears that a bloody stalemate has taken hold of the country.

Hague in Doha for Libya talks (Reuters)

The meeting in the Gulf state of Qatar, also attended by former Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa, is the first of the new international “contact group” on Libya created at last month’s London conference to co-ordinate the international response to the crisis.

It comes as the rebel leadership in Benghazi rejected an African Union proposal for a ceasefire, which included Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi remaining in power.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague is attending the meeting, and is expected to call again for more action from NATO, which is leading the western intervention in Libya aiming to protect civilians.

On Tuesday Mr Hague joined French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe in calling for NATO states to “intensify” military action against Gaddafi regime forces attacking besieged cities like Misrata.

Mr Juppe said that NATO’s actions were “not enough” and that the alliance, which took over command of the operation from the Americans, needed to “play its role in full”.

Read more in the Channel 4 News Special Report on the Libya war

Moussa Koussa

Mr Hague is also under attack back at home for allowing Moussa Koussa to leave the UK to attend the talks in Doha.

Jonathan Ganesh, who was injured in the Docklands bombing of 1996 and is a spokesman for IRA victims, told Channel 4 News he is utterly shocked by the revelations.

“I couldn’t believe it. It’s astonishing. .. To think that he could be going to negotiate some sort of peace deal is unbelievable. He is a very dangerous man.”

The Foreign Office says Moussa Koussa is now free to leave the UK after being questioned about the Lockerbie bombing.

Koussa defected to Britain on 30 March after quitting the Government of Gaddafi. It is believed he could be trying to broker a deal between opposition fighters and other defectors from Gaddafi’s regime.