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William Hague apologises for "infuriating" Libyan evacuation effort

Tim Montgomerie

Screen shot 2011-02-24 at 05.39.05 Within today's ConHome newslinks you can read the anger of Fleet Street at what is seen as the FCO's failure to get Britons out of Libya in a speedy and efficient way.

William Hague was on this morning's Today programme to defend his department's efforts. The Foreign Secretary told Jim Naughtie that more resources had been put into emergency support after the double demands of the situations in Libya and the New Zealand earthquake had exceeded supply.

Mr Hague apologised to people who hadn't been evacuated yesterday from Tripoli. He said that it had been "infuriating" that none of the three planes scheduled to collect people had left yesterday in a timely manner. He declined to criticise British Airways and British Midland who abruptly cancelled flights for safety and business reasons. He said that the planes were now in transit and would complete their mission.

Turning to the wider situation he said that it was deeply worrying that a remnant of the Gaddafi government was willing to use violence against its own people to stay in power. We were, he said, therefore dealing with a situation wholly different from Egypt and Tunisia. He vowed that Britain would play a full part in international efforts to get the regime to surrender and he insisted that responsible individuals would be held account for all atrocities committed against the Libyan people.

> Listen to Mr Hague's full interview.


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