Libyan delegation arrives in Cairo

Gulf Arab foreign ministers call on the Arab League to take measures to stop the bloodshed in Libya.

    GCC foreign ministers have called for contacts to be made with the opposition movement [GALLO/GETTY] 

    Libya's leader Muammar Gaddafi has dispatched a delegation to the Egyptian capital, Cairo, to attend an Arab League meeting on the Libyan crisis.

    The team arrived in Cairo on Friday, aiming to attend a meeting scheduled for the next day, officials at the Cairo airport and the Libyan embassy told the Reuters news agency.

    However, it was unclear whether the Libyan team will be permitted to attend the meeting at the body's Cairo headquarters. The Arab League has suspended the Tripoli government in protest against Gaddafi’s handling of the uprising in his country.

    The Libyan officials said the delegation was headed by Umran Abu-Kra'a, who they identified as the minister of electricity.

    It also included Salma Rashid, appointed by Gaddafi to replace the Libyan Arab League representative who was one of the many Libyan diplomats around the world to abandon the Tripoli government in protest at its handling of the uprising.

    'Stop the bloodshed'

    The Gulf Arab states, all of which are members of the Arab League, said on Thursday that Gaddafi's government is no longer legitimate and called for contacts to be initiated with the transitional National Council in Libya.

    In a statement issued after their meeting in Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh on Thursday, foreign ministers from the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) called on the Arab League to take measures to stop the bloodshed in Libya and to initiate contacts with the National Council formed by the opposition.

    Read more of our Libya coverage

    "When it comes to Libya I think the regime has lost its legitimacy," Hamad bin Jasem bin Jaber Al Thani, the Qatari prime minister and foreign minister, said.

    "We support the no-fly zone. We also support contact with the National Council in Libya. It is time to discuss the situation with them and the [UN] Security Council should shoulder its responsibility."

    The GCC denounced the crimes committed against civilians by using live bullets and heavy weapons and recruiting mercenaries, killing big number of innocent victims and constituting flagrant violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.

    They called on the Arab League to shoulder responsibility to take the necessary measures to defuse rifts, achieve the aspirations of the Libyan people and take the necessary measures to do that, including calling on the UN Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over Libya to protect civilians.

    Ahead of Saturday's meeting, the six-nation alliance urged Arab League foreign ministers, "to shoulder their responsibilities in taking necessary measures to stop the bloodshed".

    The Gulf Cooperation Council called on the Arab League to take measures to stop the bloodshed in Libya, including the imposition of a no-fly zone to protect civilians.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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