Libyan foreign minister defects to the UK

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Mussa Kussa
Image: US Dept. of State.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Libyan foreign minister Mussa Kussa has fled to the United Kingdom and has announced that he is no longer willing to work for Muammar Gaddafi's regime.

A spokesman for the UK government said Kussa "arrived at Farnborough Airport on 30 March from Tunisia. He travelled here under his own free will." He added: "Moussa Kussa is one of the most senior figures in Gaddafi's government and his role was to represent the regime internationally—something that he is no longer willing to do. We encourage those around Gaddafi to abandon him and embrace a better future for Libya that allows political transition and real reform that meets the aspirations of the Libyan people."

Kussa is the highest ranking government official of Libya to defect as of late, and is a blow to Gaddaffi, as his government in recent weeks has been trying to crush rebellions that have sprung-up after a series of protests and revolutions occurred throughout the Middle East, demanding their leaders step down from power.

Before the defection, it was reported government forces have recently taken back the port-town of Ras Lanuf and the nearby town of Bin Jawad.

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