Qaddafi's Foreign Minister Defects

KOUSSAFethiBelaid:Getty

From the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office:

“We can confirm that Moussa Koussa arrived at Farnborough Airport from Tunisia. He travelled here under his own free will. He has told us that he is resigning his post. We are discussing this with him and we will release further detail in due course. Moussa Koussa is one of the most senior figures in Gaddafi’s government and his role was to represent the regime internationally – something that he is no longer willing to do. We encourage those around Gaddafi to abandon him and embrace a better future for Libya that allows political transition and real reform that meets the aspirations of the Libyan people”.

He may not be the only one deserting the nutter:

Al Jazeera's Anita McNaught tells us that Koussa was not alone, and that there are several senior Libyan government figures waiting to fly to European capitals.

She said they include the current head of intelligence, the oil mininster, the secretary of the general peoples' congress and a deputy foreign minister. She tells us:

"It seems the government of Gaddafi is collapsing around him tonight, and they're running for the hills. But it's all about Cololnel Gaddafi here. The people are loyal to him, not to his ministers, so how this will be taken by the Libyan people is another matter - that's if they know what's going on. Today, state TV said that Moussa Koussa was going on holiday. We'll see if they say the same for these others."

The best scenario - given the insanity of actively funneling arms to the Libyan rebels, and training and aiding them on the ground - is a collapse of the regime around Qaddafi. If Al Jazeera's report pans out, the defection of the foreign minister, the intelligence chief, and the oil minister seems pretty devastating to me.

(Photo: Libya's Secretary of the General people's committee for Foreign Affairs, Moussa Koussa, is pictured at the start of the second session of the meeting gathering five Foreign Affairs minister of Arab Magreb Union (UMA) and five from the European Union in Tunis on April 16, 2010. By Fethi Belaid/Getty.)

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