Libya contact group to meet in Doha next week: UK

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 04, 2011 11:48 AM

LONDON (Reuters) - An international contact group set up to lead political coordination for Libya will meet in the Qatari capital of Doha next week, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Monday.

The group was established last week at a conference on Libya hosted by Hague. The small Arab nation of Qatar has played a prominent role in international efforts to protect civilians from Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's government under the terms of a United Nations resolution.

Hague said Britain would supply telecommunications equipment to rebels fighting Gaddafi's rule, but was not supplying them with arms.

"As I explained to the House (parliament) last week we are not engaged in arming the opposition forces," Hague said.

"We are prepared to supply non-lethal equipment which will help with the protection of civilian lives and the delivery of humanitarian aid."

Hague also said that he would encourage former Libyan foreign minister Moussa Koussa to cooperate with legal authorities investigating the 1988 Lockerbie airline bombing.

Koussa flew to Britain last week after defecting from Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's government.

British foreign office officials were expected to meet Scottish police on Monday to try to arrange an interview with Koussa over Lockerbie.

Families of some of the 270 people who died when Pan Am flight 103 exploded over the southern Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988 have demanded that Koussa -- a former Libyan spy chief -- should be handed over to Scottish investigators immediately.