White House: Libyan's exit a 'major defection'

AP News
Posted: Mar 31, 2011 2:39 PM
White House: Libyan's exit a 'major defection'

The White House calls the resignation and departure of a top Libyan official a significant blow to the regime of Moammar Gadhafi and says it signals that his inner circle is "crumbling."

Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa flew to England from Tunisia on Wednesday and the British government said he had resigned. Gadhafi's government said Koussa had resigned but claimed that it was a personal decision driven by health problems.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Thursday if there was ever a sign that Gadhafi's inner circle was crumbling, this was it.

White House National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said Koussa can help provide "critical intelligence about Gaddafi's current state of mind and military plans."