A look at the latest developments in political unrest across the Middle East on Thursday:
Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa resigns and flies to London in a symbolic victory for the opposition, though the government maintains it was for health reasons. He is followed shortly afterwards by Ali Abdel Salam Treki, a former foreign minister and president of the U.N. General Assembly who also defects. Fighting, meanwhile, has stabilized around the oil facilities of Brega, with rebel and government forces trading rocket salvos.
Syrian President Bashar Assad has set up committees to replace the decades-old emergency laws and investigate civilian deaths in two weeks of unrest. The move was an apparent attempt to head off massive protests scheduled for Friday, after he dashed earlier expectations that he was going to announce real reforms. He has blamed "conspirators" for setting off the demonstrations in the country.
Government releases blogger Mahmoud al-Youssef, a fierce critic of the government. He was arrested on Wednesday in what was seen as part of Bahrain's crackdown on the anti-government protests sweeping the country.
Kuwait's Cabinet resigns over "regional developments" in an apparent reference to the turmoil in neighboring Bahrain. The decision to dissolve the Cabinet is believed to be in order to prevent three of the ministers from being questioned by parliament over Kuwait's decision not to send forces into Bahrain like the other Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
Three top officials in former President Hosni Mubarak's government have been banned from leaving the country as they are investigated on suspicions of corruption. Former presidential chief of staff Zakariya Azmi, ruling party head Safwat el-Sherif and parliament speaker Fathi Surour were pillars of the old regime and there had been questions about why they had yet to be investigated.