14 Apr 2011

International group urges Libyan leader to stand down

5:30 am on 14 April 2011

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has again been urged to step down, with a newly formed 'contact group' of countries saying he has lost all legitimacy.

The call came in a final statement from the group issued at a summit meeting in Qatar, the BBC reports.

Earlier, delegates were told by United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon that more than half the population of Libya might eventually require humanitarian aid.

Ahead of the meeting, the French and British foreign ministers said NATO should be doing more to support Western-led military operations against Col Gaddafi's forces amid suggestions that there were insufficient aircraft being deployed.

The contact group was formed at an international ministerial conference in London on 29 March and includes European powers, the US, allies from the Middle East and a number of international organisations, the BBC says.

In Libya, state television reports NATO aircraft have attacked the cities of al-Aziziya and Sirte.

Libyan rebels say there has been heavy fighting in central and eastern Misrata, but that they are making progress against government troops