France says Kadhafi entourage starting to defect

30th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe on Wednesday reported the "first defections" from Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's entourage, the day after an international conference on the country's future.

"On the political level, and this could herald positive developments, the first defections around Kadhafi in Tripoli are being reported," Juppe said during parliamentary question time, without elaborating.

Tuesday's international conference in London ended with a repeated call for Kadhafi, battling rebels for over a month, to go.

"You ask me about Kadhafi's fate, we feel that he no longer has his place in the construction of the Libya of tomorrow... it's up to Libyans to decide and that's what we'll help them with," Juppe said.

US officials at the conference including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also said there had been reported defections from Kadhafi's entourage.

The rebel National Transitional Council on Monday vowed that Kadhafi followers who changed sides would be pardoned.

© 2011 AFP

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