Libya's Musa Kusa leaves Britain for Qatar

Libya's Musa Kusa leaves Britain for Qatar

Former Libyan foreign minister Musa Kusa, who defected to Britain 13 days ago, has flown to Qatar for talks about the situation in his native country, the Foreign Office in London said Tuesday, dpa reported.

Kusa's departure from Britain came just hours after he broke his silence for the first time since his arrival in Britain, pleading for all sides in the Libya conflict to avoid taking the country into civil war and turning it into a "new Somalia."

A Foreign Office spokesman said Kusa would meet Qatari government officials and a range of Libyan representatives in Doha, Qatar's capital.

A meeting of the Libya Contact Group, established at an international conference on Libya in London two weeks ago, was due to take place in Doha Wednesday.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman would not be drawn on the question of whether Kusa was expected to return to Britain. "He is a free individual who can travel to and from the UK as he wishes," she said.

Kusa, a former loyal colleague of Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi was questioned by police and prosecutors in Scotland last week in connection with the bombing of a US airliner over Lockerbie, in Scotland, in 1988, in which 270 people died.

Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, said Tuesday that Scotland had no jurisdiction over Kusa and had "no power over his movements."

"However, we have every reason to believe that the Scottish authorities will be able to interview him again if required," said Salmond.

In his first public statement since his arrival on March 30, Kusa told the BBC late Monday that he feared Libya could become "the new Somalia," and that a territorial break-up of his native country must be avoided at all cost.

"The unity of Libya is essential to any solution and settlement in Libya. I ask everybody to avoid taking Libya into civil war," he said.

In his statement, recorded by a BBC correspondent "under controlled circumstances" at an undisclosed location in London, Kusa said he resigned from his post because he was "ready to make sacrifices for the sake of my country."

He had been "devoted" to his work and had been loyal to the Gaddafi regime for more than 30 years, Kusa said. However, the latest developments in his country had changed that.

"The solution in Libya will come from the Libyans themselves, and through discussion and democratic dialogue."

Kusa said he came to Britain for personal reasons, but also because Britain and Libya had "worked together against terrorism and successfully avoided terrorist action."

The British government has insisted that it would not grant Kusa immunity from prosecution in connection with his knowledge of or implication in acts of so-called state-sponsored terrorism.

Before becoming foreign minister in 2009, Kusa was head of Libya's foreign intelligence service.

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