London kicks out Libyan envoy

May 2, 2011 at 2:59 PM
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LONDON, May 2 (UPI) -- Attacks by supporters of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi on foreign diplomatic missions in the country won't weaken the mission, London said.

Throngs of Gadhafi supporters stormed the U.S., British and Italian embassies in Tripoli during the weekend. The attacks followed NATO airstrikes in Libya that apparently killed one of Gadhafi's sons and three of his grandchildren.

The British government in response to the attack on its embassy announced it was kicking Libya's envoy to London out of the country.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague in a statement said the Vienna Convention requires Tripoli to protect diplomatic missions in the country. By allowing the attacks, Hague said, the Gadhafi regime has once again failed to meet its international obligations.

"As a result, I have taken the decision to expel the Libyan ambassador," he said.

Western forces are striking key targets inside Libya in support of a U.N.-mandated no-fly zone imposed in March.

Italy, France and Great Britain announced recently they were sending military liaison officers to rebel-held territory in Libya. That decision, and the strikes that killed members of Gadhafi's family, were criticized by opponents of the invasion.

"The attacks against diplomatic missions will not weaken our resolve to protect the civilian population in Libya," added Hague.

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