British team leaves Libya after 'difficulties': ministry
Britain said Sunday that a "small diplomatic team" who were reportedly being held in Benghazi after trying to "initiate contacts" with opposition rebels had left Libya after experiencing "difficulties."
"I can confirm that a small British diplomatic team has been in Benghazi," Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement.
"The team went to Libya to initiate contacts with the opposition. They experienced difficulties, which have now been satisfactorily resolved. They have now left Libya."
The Libyan rebels' national council confirmed later Sunday that they had refused to talk to the British delegation, who entered the country without prior arrangement, and had sent the team back to London.
"We do not know the nature of their mission. We refused to discuss anything with them due to the way they entered the country," spokesman Abdul Hafiz Ghoqa told reporters in the rebel stronghold Benghazi.
"Now we're trying to negotiate a way for them to go back home."
According to Sky and BBC news reports, the diplomats left Benghazi on board the HMS Cumberland ship.
© 2011 AFP