London conference on Libya says military operations to continue till Gaddafi steps down

UK, France insist on implementing UN Security Council resolution to force no-fly zone in Libya

Obama sets principles for U.S. policy on Libya’s regime change

Amnesty International urges Gaddafi to end “disappearances” of opponents

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said that the conference looked at humanitarian needs in the country, but also plan for a democratic future without the man who has led Libya for four decades.

Hague has denied the coalition offensive in Libya is aimed at regime change, but confirmed that he hoped Col Gaddafi would step down.

While the Libyan opposition's Interim National Transitional Council will not be attending the conference, a United Nations envoy will be heading to Libya from Britain.

"One of the things that we will launch at the conference is the political process that will, of course, include that national council," Hague told BBC Radio 4's Today program.

Hague said Britain wanted Gaddafi to face the International Criminal Court but refused to say where the dictator should go if he stood down.

"We are not in control of where he might go. I am not going to choose Colonel Gaddafi's retirement home," he said.

The Foreign Secretary added: "Of course I believe he should face the court. People who committed crimes, if the prosecutor has the information on them, should be before the International Criminal Court.

"But of course where he goes, if goes, is up to him and the people of Libya to determine and we will not necessarily be in control of that."

Forty foreign ministers and the United Nations General Secretary will attend the event in London which will be chaired by the Prime Minister. Britain and France are to use the conference to call upon Col Muammar Gaddafi's supporters to "drop him before it is too late".

David Cameron told MPs that RAF pilots have flown more than 120 sorties and completed more than 250 hours of flights as part of the international action in Libya.

And he paid tribute to the "skilful and dangerous work" done by pilots who destroyed 22 of Gaddafi's tanks, armored vehicles and heavy guns over the weekend and flew deep into the desert this morning to target ammunition bunkers.

As the rebel advance continues, the London Summit will look at what more the international community can do to ensure the safety of civilians in Libya and, crucially, what comes after Col Gaddafi has been forced from power.

But Cameron, desperate to avoid comparisons with the aftermath of the Iraq invasion, said that it will be the Libyan people who ultimately decide their political future.

Cameron told the Commons: "It is for the people of Libya to choose how they are governed and who governs them, but they have a far better chance of doing that as we stand today than they did 10 days ago.

"Had we not acted, their future would have already been decided for them."

Also attending the meeting were Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations general secretary. He sat alongside Cameron as they discussed the implementation of Security Council resolutions on Libya; preparations for any humanitarian emergency in the country; post-conflict stabilization; and the political way forward to allow the Libyan people to move to a more open and democratic government.

In a video conference held between Cameron, Barack Obama, Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel, he laid out his priorities for the conference in which he hopes to “strengthen and broaden the coalition of countries committed to implementing the UN resolutions and protecting the people of Libya.”

In the Commons, Cameron said the allied action in Libya over the past 10 days has had a "significant and beneficial effect."

"We have stopped the assault on Benghazi and helped to create conditions in which a number of towns have been liberated from Gaddafi's onslaught," he said. "The no-fly zone is now fully operational and effective. When it has been challenged, Gaddafi's planes have been shot down.

"He can no longer terrorize the Libyan people from the air." But a poll for the Independent shows that seven out of 10 people fear that Britain's involvement in military action in Libya could turn into another Iraq conflict.

Last night a British official told The Times that although Gaddafi should be “held to account”, he admitted an exile plan had not been “ruled out” as it may be in Libya’s best interests.

Italy has been pushing for such an outcome, and last night reiterated calls for Gaddafi’s potential asylum. Such a move could be implemented by the African Union.

“Gaddafi must understand that it would be an act of courage to say: 'I understand that I have to go’,” said Franco Frattini, the Italian foreign minister. “We hope that the African Union can find a valid proposal.”

U.S. President Barack Obama said an intention for a "regime change" in Libya by foreign forces would be a mistake that would lead the West-led military actions to split.

"The task that I assigned our forces -- to protect the Libyan people from immediate danger, and to establish a no-fly zone -- carries with it a UN mandate and international support," Obama said, noting if the administration "tried to overthrow Gaddafi by force, our coalition would splinter. We would likely have to put U.S. troops on the ground."

He said in that way, the dangers faced by U.S. soldiers would be far greater, so would the costs, and the share of the responsibility for "what comes next."

In a keynote speech to explain his administration's policies toward Libya, Obama said NATO had taken command of the enforcement of the arms embargo and No-Fly Zone, and the alliance decided to take on the additional responsibility of protecting Libyan civilians.

"This transfer from the United States to NATO will take place on Wednesday," Obama said, adding that the United States "will play a supporting role -- including intelligence, logistical support, search and rescue assistance, and capabilities to jam regime communications."

He said in addition to NATO responsibilities, the United States will work with the international community to provide assistance to the Libyan people, and will safeguard the frozen Libyan assets worth more than 33 billion U.S. dollars, to "make sure" the Libyan people receive it.

The transition of command to NATO will "significantly" reduce the risk and cost to U.S. military and taxpayers, Obama said.

U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton will go to London to "meet with the Libyan opposition and consult with more than thirty nations."

"These discussions will focus on what kind of political effort is necessary to pressure Gaddafi, while also supporting a transition to the future that the Libyan people deserve," he added.

Meanwhile, Forces loyal to Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi have carried out a campaign of forced disappearances to try to crush opposition to his rule, according to human rights group Amnesty International.

The rights group said it had compiled more than 30 cases of people who had disappeared, including political activists and people suspected of being rebel fighters or their supporters.

"It appears that there is a systematic policy to detain anyone suspected of opposition to Colonel Gaddafi's rule, hold them incommunicado, and transfer them to his strongholds in western Libya," Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa director, said in a statement.

"There is every reason to believe that these individuals are at serious risk of torture and ill-treatment," he said.

Amnesty International, which has had a fact-finding team in eastern Libya since Feb. 26, called on Gaddafi to halt the alleged campaign of disappearances and to order his forces to abide by international law.

Emboldened by Western-led air strikes against Gaddafi's troops, rebels advanced west towards Gaddafi's birthplace of Sirte.

The rights group said disappearances began happening before protests against Gaddafi had turned into armed rebellion.

Amnesty quoted relatives and witnesses as saying that at least nine men and boys – including four aged under 18 – have been missing since Feb. 20 when they visited a Benghazi compound used by the Kateeba al-Fadheel, a special forces unit loyal to Gaddafi, on the day it fell to opposition supporters.

The families of the nine, who include 14-year-old schoolboy, Hassan Mohammad al-Qata'ni, believe that their relatives were taken by forces loyal to Gaddafi when they left the compound.

"I haven't slept since he's gone missing, nobody in my family has slept. We are so worried. He is just a kid. We don't know what to do, where to look for him, who to turn to for help," Amnesty quoted an unnamed relative of Qata'ni as saying.

Amnesty said a number of people had gone missing in or near the town of Bin Jawad.

One source told the rights group that his relative was taken prisoner by Gaddafi's forces on March 6 in Bin Jawad but had been able to phone while being taken with dozens of others to the Kateeba al-Sa'idi military compound in Sirte.

Amnesty International said Gaddafi could be held responsible in an international court for any crimes committed by his forces. The UN Security Council has referred Libya's violent crackdown on protests to the International Criminal Court.