British FM urges aid mechanism for Libya rebels

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British Foreign Secretary William Hague called for a regional financial mechanism to support Libyan rebels in their campaign against Moamer Kadhafi, as he co-chaired a contact group meeting on Wednesday.

"I hope we can agree to set up a temporary financial mechanism in the region for the benefit of the Interim National Council-controlled areas of Libya," he said, referring to the rebels' shadow government.

Hague said Britain also hoped the meeting would agree "how best to plan the stabilisation" of Libya.

"I hope we will agree to endorse the principles set out by the Interim National Council for a political process leading to a democratic Libya," he said.

"We should also move forward quickly to ensure that nations wishing to support the Interim National Council in meeting its public sector tasks do so in a transparent manner," Hague added.

He urged participants to agree to keep up pressure on the Kadhafi regime "by implementing the (UN) Security Council resolution and enforcing sanctions... making clear that Kadhafi has to leave."

Four weeks into air strikes authorised by the UN resolution to defend the Libyan people, the one-day meeting in Doha will "strengthen" the pressure on Kadhafi, who has ruled for more than 41 years, Hague said earlier.

© 2011 AFP

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