Libya contact group meeting next week in Doha: Britain

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The international contact group on Libya will take place next week in the Qatari capital Doha, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Monday.

"The first meeting of the contact group on Libya that was agreed at the London conference last week will take place next week in Doha, which I will attend," Hague told parliament.

"This will take forward the work agreed at the London conference, maintain international unity and bring together a wide range of nations in support of a better future for Libya," he said.

Britain's Foreign Office could not add further details when contacted by AFP.

The London conference, held on March 29, saw more than 40 countries and organisations, including the United Nations and NATO, gather to thrash out an international response to the Libya crisis.

They agreed to create a contact group to map out a future for the north African country and to meet again as soon as possible in Qatar.

The group was set up with the aim of providing leadership and an overall political direction to the international effort; a forum for coordinating the response; and a focal point for contact with the Libyan parties.

After Qatar, the chairmanship is to rotate between the countries of the region and beyond.

While Britain, France and the United States have driven forward the military action on Libya, they have been determined to ensure Arab nations are seen to be supporting their efforts.

Iraq, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Qatar, Tunisia and Morocco were all represented in London.

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassem, playing down suggestions of Arab disunity, said in London that holding the first contact group meeting in Doha showed "the lead role that Arab countries are playing in bringing an end to this crisis."

© 2011 AFP

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