Libyan FM Resigns, Lands in London

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has received a serious blow in his bid to hold on to power after Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa resigned and flew to Britain on Wednesday, leaving the embattled dictator without one of his closest confidants.

Koussa, considered a member of Gadhafi’s inner circle, had been in Tunisia, presumably to seek medical treatment for diabetes and high blood pressure, before he arrived in London, Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said. Koussa’s defection is seen by some observers and the opposition rebels as a sign that Gadhafi’s government is starting to crumble despite recent victories in the battlefront. Koussa’s defection came as the United States said that the Central Intelligence Agency has sent several teams to Libya. The White House is also reportedly weighing the pros and cons of arming Libyan rebels, whose lack of firepower became obvious in recent days when they were easily defeated by Gadhafi’s forces in the dictator’s hometown of Sirte.

Meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Koussa may be questioned about his involvement in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, which, according to former Libyan Justice Minister Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, was carried out under the orders of Gadhafi.