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Libya Contact Group Says Qaddafi Must Go, Rebel Financing Needed

April 13, 2011

The international contact group on Libya said today Muammar Qaddafi must leave soon and rebels fighting against him should receive material support

The group held its first meeting today, in Doha, under the joint chairmanship of host nation Qatar and Britain, and in the presence of UN chief Ban Ki-moon.

A final statement after the meeting said "Qaddafi and his regime has lost all legitimacy" and should allow Libyans "to determine their own future."

The statement also said the group has agreed to set up a "temporary financial mechanism" to aid rebels.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague, speaking at a news conference after the meeting, said his country will give further "non-lethal" material support to the rebels in addition to the telecommunications equipment it has already supplied.

During today's talks, representatives of the rebels urged NATO to step up air strikes on Muammar Qaddafi's tanks and missile sites.
British Prime Minister David Cameron will travel to Paris later today for talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy on the situation in Libya.

Britain and France have been calling for NATO to step up its airstrikes to help the rebels withstand attacks by Qaddafi's forces.

In related news, NATO said today its planes on April 12 destroyed 16 of Qaddafi's tanks -- 12 of them near the besieged rebel city of Misrata in west Libya.

compiled from agency reports

Source: http://www.rferl.org/content/libya_contact_group_opens_doha_meeting/3556125.html

Copyright (c) 2011. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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