Britain Sides with French to Let Qaddafi Remain in Libya

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In what's being described as a "shift in attitude" by The New York Times, British foreign secretary William Hague appears to be nudged by France to consider a deal to allow dictator Muammar Qaddafi to remain in Libya in exchange for relinquishing power. Hague stated on Tuesday "what happens to Qaddafi is ultimately a question for the Libyans." The Times reports:

In talks in London late Monday, the British foreign secretary, William Hague, met his French counterpart, Alain Juppé, who said last week that "one of the scenarios" to resolve the conflict in Libya "is that he stays in Libya on one condition, which I repeat: that he very clearly steps aside from Libyan political life." Previously, Britain had insisted that Colonel Qaddafi leave the country as part of a settlement. That could expose him to arrest under a warrant on war crimes charges issued by the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

As The Guardian noted in its account, William Hague and Alain Juppé seem to disagree on whether or not Qaddafi should face the International Criminal Court:

Hague and Juppé also appeared to differ on whether Gaddafi should face the ICC. Juppé said it was important to uphold the principle that nobody is immune from prosecution. The transitional council in Libya has indicated that it would send Gaddafi for trial at the ICC.

Earlier this month in a meeting in Istanbul, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had said the U.S. had reached a deal to recognize the Libyan rebels (the Transitional National Council) as the legitimate governing body of the nation.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.