Britain to expel all Libyan embassy staff: foreign office

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Britain is to expel all remaining staff at the Libyan embassy in London, the Foreign Office said Wednesday.

"The Libyan charge d'affaires has been called into the Foreign and Commonwealth Office today and is being informed that he and the remaining Libyan diplomats are being expelled," a Foreign Office spokeswoman told AFP.

Foreign Secretary William Hague will be speaking further about the announcement and its implications at a press conference at 1000 GMT, the spokeswoman said.

Britain is one of the lead nations in a Western alliance that has been carrying out an aerial campaign against the regime of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi since March.

On Monday Hague reiterated Britain's demands for Kadhafi to step down but said the Libyan leader may be allowed to remain in the North African country in an apparent shift in London's position.

Britain expelled the Libyan ambassador in May following attacks on the British embassy in Tripoli, and has also already kicked out several Libyan diplomats including the country's military attache.

It has no diplomatic representation in Tripoli but a Foreign Office special representative is based in the eastern rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

In May British Prime Minister David Cameron invited Libya's rebel Transitional National Council to open an office in London, the first in a foreign country.

© 2011 AFP

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