April 5, 2011 - 0:0

British foreign secretary says no ground invasion of Libya

@H= LONDON (Xinhua) -- British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Sunday that there would be no ground invasion of Libya.
He said, “We're sticking very closely here to the United Nations resolution...which makes it very clear there must be no foreign occupation of any part of Libya and we will stick to that.”
But Hague admitted “there have already been circumstances in which we've sent small special forces into Libya. We rescued people from the desert a few weeks ago as you will remember through doing that.”
“So circumstances can arise where limit, such limited operations take place, but there is going to be no large-scale ground force placed in Libya by the United Kingdom,” he said.
In addition, Hague reiterated there had been no decision to arm rebels in Libya.
“I'm not aware of any of our allies taking the decision to do that,” he added.
The foreign secretary also confirmed he had spoken to Libyan Foreign Minister Mousa Kusa after his resignation, adding Kusa wasn't under arrest and had arrived in Britain of his own free.
He said, “I have spoken to him briefly... I welcomed the fact that he had left the Gaddafi regime. I said I thought that was the right thing to do. I asked him to have discussions with my officials, which is indeed what he is now doing.”
Hague said, “I formed the view over quite a few conversations with him when he was still in place as Libyan foreign minister that he was very distressed by what was happening in Libya, that he wanted to see a peaceful solution, that he was very deeply concerned about what's happening to the people of Libya. And I think when somebody like that says they want to get out then it would be quite wrong to say no you've got to stay there.”
But he reiterated Kusa wouldn't be offered immunity from prosecution, saying “the prime minister and I have made clear there's no immunity from prosecution. There will be no immunity. He hasn't asked for that. There isn't a deal.”
“It's a good thing we're able to discuss with him the situation in Libya and the Middle East with of course all his experience of it. And it is a good thing where the Crown Office in Scotland wishes to talk to him about what's happened in the past, such as at Lockerbie, well then my officials are discussing with the Crown Office tomorrow how to go about that,” he said.
Hague emphasized the international community supported Libya's territorial integrity.
“The whole international community supports the territorial integrity of Libya and it's very much the desire of the opposition in Libya to have a united country,” he said.
“And let's be clear that if the Libyan regime tries to hang on in this situation they are internationally isolated, they can't sell any oil, there is no way forward for them, there is no future for Libya on that basis,” he said.