Foreign ministers to meet in London on Libya: Britain

23rd March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Foreign ministers from the coalition taking military action against the Libyan regime and from regional countries will meet in London on Tuesday, the British foreign ministry confirmed.

Confirming an earlier announcement by France, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said they would form a "contact group of nations" to advance efforts to stop Moamer Kadhafi's forces killing civilians.

"At the conference we will discuss the situation in Libya with our allies and partners and take stock of the implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973," Hague said in a statement.

The loosely articulated coalition that began military operations on Saturday to enforce UN Resolution 1973 to protect Libyan civilians and enforce a no-fly zone has had trouble agreeing on a leadership structure.

"It is critical that the international community continues to take united and coordinated action in response to the unfolding crisis. The meeting will form a contact group of nations to take forward this work," Hague added.

Hague said a "wide and inclusive range of countries will be invited, particularly from the region," but did not give details.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said earlier the meeting would bring together the United States, France, Britain and all other coalition partners plus the African Union, the Arab League, and "all interested European nations."

The United States and Britain have favoured handing over key responsibilities to NATO, while France has expressed concern that a formal role for the alliance would hamper effective action and scare off Arab nations.

Hague said the meeting would address these issues as well as the "humanitarian needs of the Libyan people and identify ways to support the people of Libya in their aspirations for a better future."

A Foreign Office spokesman told AFP that the meeting was at foreign minister level but said it was "too early to say exactly who will be attending."

© 2011 AFP

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