No "foreign occupation" of Libya: British diplomat

AFP , Tuesday 5 Apr 2011

Britain rules out foreign occupation or invasion in Libya as NATO continues the military campaign designated to help rebels overthrow the Gaddafi regime

British junior foreign minister Alistair Burt stressed Tuesday "there will be absolutely no foreign occupation or invasion in Libya", in an interview published in Algiers.

"The UN resolution is clear -- any military action is taken to protect civilians, and there will be absolutely no foreign occupation or invasion in Libya," Burt told the Arabic daily El Chourouk.

Nevertheless, "the UK believes that Gaddafi should go, and should go now. Libya has no future with him at the helm," the diplomat said.

"He has unleashed hell onto his people. He has murdered civilians. He stands accused of dreadful crimes. Now those crimes are a matter for the International Criminal Court."

The prosecutor of the ICC, based in The Hague, has said he would request arrest warrants for crimes against humanity committed in Libya, with investigations ongoing against Kadhafi, three of his sons and other key aides.

Burt called for "full and frank" discussion, saying different countries had different views on these issues. Algiers, for example, has expressed itself against any foreign intervention in the region.

On his second visit to Algeria, Burt and his counterpart Abdelkader Messahel will preside over the fifth session of an Algerian-British dialogue.

"In recent years, we have seen this relationship strengthen across the board," Burt said of bilateral ties, specifying that talks will focus on cooperation in the fields of energy, commerce and counter-terrorism, as well as events in Libya and Western Sahara.


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