British foreign policy and the "Arab Spring" - Foreign Affairs Committee Contents

3  The FCO's immediate response to the crises

26.  When protests began to take place in the MENA region, the FCO was responsible for coordinating both the consular and diplomatic response to the crises. The Government told us that the Arab Spring put "significant strain" on MENAD's resources. Before the Arab Spring, the Department had approximately 90 staff. Between January and July 2011, over 570 staff based in London and the FCO's offices in Milton Keynes had volunteered to assist the work of MENAD and the Consular Directorate as they responded to the series of crises in the Arab Spring, as well as earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand.

27.  The Consular Crisis Management Department deployed 16 Rapid Deployment Teams, totalling 90 staff overseas to support the consular response,[37] and over 50 staff were deployed to the states on an ad-hoc basis to support the response to the Arab Spring. In April 2011, the FCO Board decided to increase staffing in MENAD "on a more permanent and sustainable footing".[38] The Directorate was re-organised into five departments:

  • Libya Unit
  • Near East and North Africa Department
  • Northern Gulf Department
  • Arabian Peninsula Department
  • Arab Partnership Department

The FCO told us that the new Libya Unit had approximately 25 new slots. Across the remainder of the Directorate, three slots were upgraded and approximately 15 new slots created, including an additional Director.[39] This suggests that an additional 35-40 positions have been added to the MENA Directorate since the start of 2011, an increase in staffing of around 40%.

The consular response in Tunisia

28.  On the eve of the Arab Spring, there were approximately 4,000 British nationals in Tunisia. The UK embassy in Tunis was one of its smallest in the region, with approximately 65 staff. The FCO told us that it had "extensive contingency plans for handling unexpected crises in Tunisia, including those related to public disorder."[40] The FCO's travel advice for Tunisia was updated 22 times between 5 January and 4 February 2011, escalating its advice to advise against all travel and for British nationals to leave Tunisia between 13-15 January, at the time of ex-President Ben Ali's departure.[41]

29.  By 20 January, the FCO estimated that there were only 300 British nationals remaining in Tunisia, most of whom were long-term residents.[42] There was no need for a government-sponsored evacuation as Britons were able to leave on commercial flights.
Timeline: the consular response in Tunisia
13 JanuaryFCO advises against all but essential travel to Tunisia
14 JanuaryPresident Ben Ali departed Tunisia for Saudi Arabia
FCO advises British nationals to "consider their need to remain in Tunisia"
FCO staff member from Rabat arrives to support Embassy work
Tunisian airspace briefly closed
15 January FCO advises all British nationals without a pressing reason to remain to leave Tunisia by commercial means
FCO staff member from Algiers arrives
Non-essential FCO and British Council staff and dependents leave Tunisia
17 January FCO / consular service Rapid Deployment Team arrives to help with 'assisted departure operations'
15-20 January An estimated 4,000 British nationals leave Tunisia by commercial means
4 FebruaryFCO relaxes its travel advice for Tunisia

The consular response in Egypt

30.  Cairo is one of the largest posts in the region, serving as a regional hub with 150 staff from the FCO and other Whitehall departments.[43] At the time of the revolution the Consulate-General in Alexandria accommodated approximately 20 staff. The FCO also had Honorary Consulates in Sharm el-Sheikh, Luxor, Suez and Hurghada.[44] The Government estimated the resident British community in Egypt to be around 15,000 including dependants, concentrated mainly in and around Cairo. Around 120,000 British nationals visited Egypt each month, with around 20,000-25,000 in the country at any one time. Unlike in Tunis, the FCO judged that chartered aircraft were required to supplement commercial capacity in evacuating British nationals from Egypt. The FCO chartered two flights which were used by 200 British nationals and dependants who were charged £300 per adult fare.[45] FCO travel advice for Egypt was updated 22 times between 26 January and 21 February 2011.[46]
Timeline: the consular response in Egypt
25 JanuaryFirst major protests in Cairo
28 JanuaryFCO escalates its advice to advise against all but essential travel to Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor and Suez
29 January FCO advises all British nationals without a pressing need to remain in the major cities of Cairo, Alexandria or Suez to leave by commercial means
30 JanuaryThe first Rapid Deployment Team (RDT) arrives in Egypt
31 January A second RDT and an Ministry of Defence planning team arrive
3 February Non-core staff in the Cairo embassy are either evacuated or told not to attend work at the embassy
First FCO chartered aircraft to supplement the commercial flight capacity departs
5 February Second FCO chartered aircraft departs
15 February FCO partially relaxes travel advice
21 February FCO lifts all advice against non-essential travel to Egypt

31.  A major point of concern for the FCO was the advice it gave to the thousands of British nationals at the resorts on the Red Sea. Many other states, including the US and almost all EU countries, advised their citizens against travel to Egypt as a whole during the uprisings. In contrast, the FCO judged that the risk to British nationals in tourist resorts was "significantly lower than that in the major cities" and did not advise British travellers to leave. The FCO told us that it deployed extra consular staff to Sharm el-Sheikh to support the Honorary Consul and reviewed its assessment on a daily basis in consultation with staff in Egypt.[47] The FCO told us that its approach in differentiating between different parts of the country had since been praised by the Egyptian government, UK tour operators and British travellers who were able to continue their holidays. The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) agreed and suggested that there would have been negative consequences had a travel ban been issued "hastily and impulsively", and it praised the FCO for recognising "geographical differences" which ensured "orderly evacuations where necessary and the prevention of general panic amongst UK nationals."[48]

32.  ABTA praised the FCO's Consular Services Directorate, describing communications during the crisis in Tunisia and Egypt as "strong, effective and constructive". ABTA also applauded the FCO's travel advice as well-timed, balanced, and "based on well-informed decisions".[49] Where ABTA did see fault, such as in an administrative error which it said resulted in a case of unnecessary evacuation of some British nationals,[50] and a problem with the visibility of consular staff at airports, it was satisfied that the problems were quickly addressed and lessons learned. We conclude that the Government provided a good consular service to British nationals in Egypt and Tunisia, providing well-judged and practical advice. We congratulate the FCO for its decision not to advise against travel to the Red Sea resorts.

33.  ABTA warned that other states in the region have a much higher number of British tourists that do not travel on package holidays, for whom no airline or travel provider has a legal obligation to support their repatriation. Should unrest spread to these countries the evacuation of British citizens would be more challenging. In its response to this report the FCO should confirm that its consular evacuation plans elsewhere in the region take into account the much higher number of independent British travellers, who may require more consular assistance than those on package holidays.

The consular response in Libya

34.  When protests broke out in Libya on 15 February 2011, violence escalated much more quickly and severely than it had in Egypt or Tunisia, and within a week the situation required a major consular response and an evacuation of British nationals from various locations in the country. There were an estimated 3,500 British nationals in Libya in February 2011.[51] The Embassy had approximately 80 staff, and held emergency plans for "potential consular disasters", including plans for evacuations by land, air and sea due to its designation as a "medium risk" country.[52]

35.  The Government described the Libya crisis as "the most complex FCO-led evacuation in recent years, involving combined commercial charter and military operations."[53] The particular difficulties in Libya were the collapse of administration in Tripoli; chaos and danger at the airport, with live gunfire being used to control crowds, and few if any Libyan airport ground staff; and the fact that UK nationals were dispersed over a vast swathe of remote desert. In addition, the FCO was dealing with an "unprecedented" series of crises in the first few months of 2011, including the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, and major earthquakes in New Zealand in February and Japan in March.[54]

36.  In total the UK evacuated over 800 British nationals and over 1,000 foreign nationals between 23 February and 1 March 2011.[55] By 7 March, the Foreign Secretary reported to the House that the UK was aware of only around 180 British nationals remaining in Libya, including some journalists, some of whom had informed the FCO of their wish to remain.[56] British nationals in Libya were not charged for FCO charter flights or evacuation by military assets as there were no commercial options available. The UK also provided humanitarian support to repatriate 12,700 foreign nationals fleeing the violence from the Libyan borders and to evacuate 4,800 Libyans and other foreign nationals from Misrata.[57] A timeline of the consular response is attached as Annex 1 to this report.

37.  The Government received significant criticism in the press for its handling of the Libya crisis.[58] The media reported severe delays with call handling, which the Government has acknowledged were "unacceptably long", and major problems in obtaining and delivering aircraft on which to evacuate British nationals from Libya. A number of problems, including a technical fault on the first aircraft chartered by the FCO, meant that British citizens waited for over 48 hours after UK commercial flights had been cancelled for Government charter planes to evacuate them. Some of those who were in more remote areas waited considerably longer. Conditions at Tripoli airport and the provision of information to British nationals were criticised, and the plight of British oil workers in more remote parts of Libya was a particular focus of attention. In media interviews, there was praise for the staff on the ground but communications with London were described as a "fiasco".[59] Both the Foreign Secretary and the Prime Minister delivered public apologies for the problems and acknowledged that Britons had had a difficult time.[60]

38.  Following the experience in Libya, the FCO commissioned a Review of Consular Evacuation Procedures, which was published on 4 July 2011 and updated in December 2011. The Review details the problems encountered and the FCO's revised structures and procedures. We note that the FCO has taken steps to clarify decision-making structures and has introduced set triggers to escalate call handling responses and to move more quickly to outsourcing call handling during future crises.[61] Most importantly, the FCO is extending the range of possible suppliers of charter aircraft, including by formalising arrangements with the Ministry of Defence. The FCO's revised "decision making matrix" now makes clear that options for chartering aircraft should be routinely explored at early stages in "pre-crisis planning". To guard against problems such as the technical fault in Libya's case, the FCO will ensure that there is extra redundancy capacity when chartering aircraft, but notes that this will entail extra cost.[62] The evacuation of British nationals exposed serious weaknesses in the FCO's emergency consular response systems, particularly with regard to chartering flights for evacuations. The Foreign Secretary was right to commission a full and detailed review, and we commend the FCO for producing detailed conclusions. While we hope that this will improve the FCO's response, some of these new procedures are yet to be tested.


39.  In response to appeals by the Permanent Under-Secretary, 570 staff from across the FCO network in London and Milton Keynes volunteered to work in the crisis centre and to support the response. The Review of Consular Evacuation Procedures noted that this included many junior A and B band staff at a time when announcements were being made on the future of the workforce structure that particularly affected them. The Review also notes that Rapid Deployment Teams and Embassy teams operated in extreme conditions with minimal support. For example, in Tripoli the Government reported chaos and danger at the airport, with live gunfire being used to control crowds and few if any Libyan airport ground staff. Some staff reportedly worked shifts of more than 24 hours with little or no rest before returning to duty. We commend the hundreds of FCO staff who worked long hours over a number of months during rolling crises. The staff in Libya and the FCO's Rapid Deployment Teams deserve particular recognition for their work to ensure British nationals reached safety.

Locally engaged staff: specific challenges

40.  The Government told us that locally engaged staff were particularly badly affected by travel restrictions during the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, noting that on one occasion only 40% of locally engaged staff managed to reach work in Tunis, although where possible staff worked from home. Locally engaged staff in Cairo who attempted to work from home were hampered by government restrictions placed on mobile phone and internet use. The FCO stated that this "meant the loss of valuable expertise for both political and consular operations", and that the loss of manpower "also presented problems for rostering and adequately resting staff."[63] We conclude that the problems encountered by locally engaged staff in reaching work during the crises, and the subsequent strain placed on remaining staff, are of particular concern in the light of the FCO's policy of engaging an ever greater number of locally engaged staff. We recommend that in its response to this report the Government provide details of how it intends to mitigate the effects of these problems in future crises.

41.  Although we have received no evidence to suggest that locally engaged staff played a role in protests in Tunisia, Egypt or Libya, we remind the Government of problems experienced in 2009 when a member of locally engaged staff of the British Embassy in Iran was arrested and detained during protests in Tehran. The Committee's Report on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Annual Report 2008-09 urged the Government to consider requesting the extension of limited diplomatic immunity to some locally-engaged staff, as permitted under the Vienna Convention.[64] We recommend that the Government review its policies in order to ensure that it is satisfied it is providing the best possible level of diplomatic protection to its locally engaged staff, and that they are aware of the limits of this protection.

Political and diplomatic responses in Tunisia and Egypt

42.  The Government told us that when the uprisings in Tunisia began it had had a "limited" bilateral relationship with the Ben Ali government, and there was "no reason to believe that the unrest would represent a serious challenge to the survival of the Ben Ali regime."[65] The UK therefore focused on addressing the deterioration in the human rights situation. The Foreign Secretary made three public statements on 11, 14 and 15 January condemning the violence and urging restraint and the protection of human rights. These messages were also made public via social media and the Ambassador's blog. The FCO worked with the EU to reinforce its message through, for example, a meeting with EU ambassadors and the Tunisian Foreign Minister on 13 January to express concern about the rising violence, which the British Ambassador attended.[66]

43.  In respect of Egypt, the FCO told us that it had believed President Mubarak did not intend to step down, and had judged that "while it was not for the UK to decide who governed Egypt, it was clear that stability in Egypt required a process of political change."[67] The UK pursued a similar policy as it had in Tunisia of publicly condemning the violence and calling for political reforms, and conducted what it described as "sustained UK engagement" with its Egyptian contacts—which were much more extensive than those it had in Tunisia—to call for an orderly transition to a more democratic system, avoidance of violent repression, and the lifting of restrictions on freedom of speech.[68] There were "at least 20" contacts by UK Cabinet ministers in a three week period during the revolution to Egyptian interlocutors including President Mubarak, his son Gamal Mubarak, Prime Minister Omar Suleiman and Foreign Minister Aboul Gheit. At least two of these calls were made by the Prime Minister.[69]

44.  The UK discussed the situation in Egypt with US, Jordanian, Arab League and UN interlocutors, and worked with EU Foreign Ministers and Heads of State to issue conclusions and a statement condemning the violence and calling for a transition to a broad-based government.[70] The UK Government also issued 11 public statements on the violence, including joint statements with France, Germany, Spain and Italy, as well as a number of media interviews and updated Parliament three times on the MENA region between 28 January and 11 February.[71]

45.  The FCO noted that in both Egypt and Tunisia the leaders had indicated a willingness to make limited concessions on some of the issues, but that those concessions had been insufficient to assuage protestors. We conclude that the Government was right to focus on human rights protection and to call for political reform rather than making an explicit call for President Ben Ali or President Mubarak to step down.


46.  The issue of deposed leaders' assets is a very sensitive one in the MENA region, particularly in Egypt where the UK is popularly believed to have frozen and failed to return large amounts of Egyptian assets.

47.  In the case of Tunisia, the FCO told us that it lobbied hard within the EU to ensure a rapid decision on freezing assets belonging to President Ben Ali and his family.[72] The EU froze assets of the President and his wife on 31 January, adding a further 46 allies and relatives to the freeze on 4 February. On 7 February the Government issued a Financial Sanctions Notice against all 48 named in the asset freeze.[73]

48.  In contrast to the Tunisia asset freezes, which were implemented by the EU 16 days after Ben Ali's departure, it took over six weeks to achieve an EU freeze of Mubarak's assets from the time it was first requested. This delay caused some comment in the press, particularly after Switzerland took steps to freeze Mubarak's assets within days of his losing power. The Government told us that the Egyptian Embassy in the UK submitted asset freezing evidence to the FCO for Mubarak and family members, former ministers and officials between 13 and 28 February and the Chancellor of the Exchequer discussed a freeze with EU Finance Ministers on 13-14 February in Brussels. [74] Yet it was not until 21 March that the EU formally imposed an asset freeze on Hosni Mubarak and 18 of his associates, and over £40 million of assets were frozen in the UK.[75] It was reported in European Voice on 21 March 2011 that a number of EU member states had already taken steps to freeze assets in the meantime.[76] We recommend that the Government provide the Committee with an explanation of the difference between the times taken to achieve an EU-wide asset freeze for Ex-President Ben Ali and for Ex-President Mubarak.

Response to the Libyan uprising

49.  Colonel Gaddafi's decision to respond to the uprisings against his regime in Libya with violence and repression resulted in a British response of a different order and scale to that in Tunisia or Egypt. The Government noted the importance of the defection of some army units to the opposition, but concluded that the situation "required external intervention on a serious scale to avoid Qadhafi crushing the voices of change."[77] Colonel Gaddafi's approach, including his reference to protestors as "rats" and "cockroaches", and now-infamous threats to "cleanse Libya house by house" galvanised international action to protect civilians from his regime.[78]


50.  The FCO states that the UK played a "key part" in shaping the international response to Colonel Gaddafi's attempted repression of the Libyan uprising. The UK was active from an early stage in responding to the situation in Libya, working with France and the US, as well as in the EU and United Nations to achieve a unified response. It co-sponsored the UN Security Council resolution 1970 against Gaddafi's regime, and worked with the Arab League as it made a formal request to the UN to establish a no-fly zone over Libya.
UN action on Libya 2011
26 FebruaryUNSCR 1970—Imposed arms embargo on Libya and referred the situation to the International Criminal Court and imposed a travel ban and asset freeze on some members of the regime
17 MarchUNSCR 1973—Reinforced and tightened the arms embargo and asset freeze, established a no-fly zone in Libyan airspace and authorised "all necessary measures […] to protect civilians […] while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory"
16 SeptemberUNSCR 2009—Established the UN Support Mission in Libya and modified the asset freezes to allow some to be unfrozen
31 OctoberUNSCR 2016—Ended the mandate for the use of all necessary measures to protect the civilian population and lifted the no-fly zone
UNSCR 2017—Called on Libya and the international community to take steps to prevent the proliferation of arms in the region
2 December UNSCR 2022—Extended UNSMIL's mandate

51.  Beyond the UN, the UK reaffirmed its leading role in responding to events in Libya by holding a London Conference on Libya with 40 countries in attendance on 29 March, and by creating and co-chairing with Qatar the first meeting of the Libya Contact Group on 13 April. The FCO told us that these efforts "presented a unified international voice on Libya" and argued that this was reinforced by a joint letter by the Prime Minister, President Obama and President Sarkozy, which stated that Gaddafi must "go, and go for good."[79]

52.  The UK's role in international military action, including its legality, aims, and allegations of seeking regime change, has been considered extensively by the Defence Committee in its report on Operations in Libya, published earlier this year.[80] We also recall our earlier conclusions in our report on The Role of the FCO in UK Government that "the Government's significant contribution to achieving UN Security Council approval for a No-Fly Zone over Libya prevented major loss of life in Benghazi."[81] We conclude that securing a UN resolution was vital to the legitimacy of subsequent intervention and a significant diplomatic achievement.

53.  Since the end of military action, concerns have been raised by NGOs and others about the effect of military action on civilians in Libya. In one reported incident, NATO has been criticised for failing to respond to distress calls and to take action to assist a stranded boat of 72 Libyan migrants in the Mediterranean Sea, only nine of whom survived. A report by the Council of Europe's Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons found a "catalogue of failures", as Libyan authorities, Italian and Maltese Maritime Coordination Centres and NATO all failed to fulfil their responsibilities toward the vessel. The report was particularly critical of the apparent failure of the crews of a helicopter and naval vessel to go to the boat's assistance. Of particular concern to our Committee was the conclusion by the Council of Europe that:

there was a failure by NATO and individual member States involved in planning Operation Unified Protector off the Libyan coast. It was foreseeable that there would be an exodus of people fleeing the country, including by the dangerous sea route.[82]

UK-Libya diplomatic relations throughout the revolution


54.  The Government told us that throughout the period of the revolution it continued to take action bilaterally to apply pressure to the Gaddafi regime. Following the evacuation of British nationals from Libya, British Embassy operations were suspended and the Embassy in Tripoli closed on 26 February 2011. The UK took a number of steps to apply diplomatic pressure, including revoking Gaddafi's immunity as head of state so that neither he nor his family could freely enter the UK, and expelling five members of the Libyan Embassy on 30 March. On 30 April, the British Embassy in Tripoli was attacked and burned following reports that a NATO airstrike had killed one of Colonel Gaddafi's sons. The Foreign Secretary responded by expelling the Libyan Ambassador to the United Kingdom Omar Jelban on 1 May, and two more Libyan diplomats were expelled on 4 May.


55.  As it sought to increase the pressure on the Gaddafi regime, the FCO also looked to increase the UK's contacts with the leadership of the opposition, the National Transitional Council (NTC). The FCO's first efforts to re-establish a presence in Libya at the start of March 2011 ended in disaster after the UK sent a "small British diplomatic team" to eastern Libya to "build on initial contacts and to assess the scope for closer diplomatic contact." The team was withdrawn after what the FCO termed "a serious misunderstanding about its role." The eight members of the team, six of whom were reportedly members of the SAS, were detained and disarmed by guards after landing by helicopter on farmland near Benghazi, then handed to opposition forces.[83] British diplomatic efforts to have the team released included a phone call from UK Ambassador to Tripoli Richard Northern, a recording of which was leaked to Libyan television channels. The team was released and left the country on 6 March 2011, but the incident was labelled an embarrassing fiasco in media reports.[84] The Foreign Secretary made a statement to the House on the events and accepted responsibility for the mission.[85] Later in March, the FCO succeeded in establishing relations with the NTC and a British diplomatic mission was established in Benghazi. The UK built on this by sending military advisers to Libya to help the NTC improve organisation and communications (though not to train or arm, which would be against UN sanctions).

56.  Although not as fast as France, the UK moved relatively quickly to recognise the rebels.[86] When the Prime Minister received NTC Chairman Abdul Jalil in London on 12 May, he referred to him as "the legitimate political interlocutor in Libya and Britain's primary partner there."[87] On 27 July, the UK announced it would recognise the NTC as the sole governmental authority in Libya. The Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, and the Secretary of State for International Development visited Libya between June and September 2011.

57.  Sir John Jenkins, former Ambassador to Baghdad, took over the UK's mission in Benghazi in September, at the same time that a UK office was established in Tripoli. As the British Embassy had been damaged in an attack on 30 April, the new office operated out of a commercial hotel and included a cross-Whitehall team. The Foreign Secretary formally re-opened the Embassy in Tripoli on 17 October and a new Ambassador to Libya, Dominic Asquith, took over in mid-November 2011.[88]

58.  We conclude that the Government responded to the Libyan crisis boldly on both bilateral and multilateral levels. The UK demonstrated leadership at the United Nations and in the EU to achieve its desired response.

37   Ev 58 Back

38   IbidBack

39   Ev 59 Back

40   Ev 82 Back

41   Ev 88-93 Back

42   Blog post by HMA to Tunis, 20 January 2011, via FCO website ( Back

43   Ev 82 Back

44   IbidBack

45   Ev 83 Back

46   Ev 99-104 Back

47   Ev 83 Back

48   Ev 226 Back

49   Ev 225 Back

50   Ev 226 Back

51   "Libya Unrest", BBC News Online, 21 February 2011, via BBC News website ( Back

52   Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Review of Consular Evacuation Procedures, 4 July 2011, p18 Back

53   Ev 111 Back

54   Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Review of Consular Evacuation Procedures, 4 July 2011, p.11-12 Back

55   Ev 109 and HC Deb, 3 March 2011, Col 35-36W Back

56   HC Deb, 7 March 2011, Col 644 Back

57   Ev 109 Back

58   See, for instance: "British rescue turns to farce: 500 trapped in Libya told plane is stuck at Gatwick and warship won't dock till it's safe", Daily Mail, 24 February 2011; "Libya-based UK oil workers in evacuation plea", The Scotsman, 23 February 2011, via the Scotsman website (; "Oil worker trapped in Libya 'desperate for rescue", BBC News Online, 23 February 2011, via BBC website ( Back

59   "Libya unrest: David Cameron apology for UK response", BBC News Online, 24 February 2011, via BBC website ( Back

60   See above, and: "Hague 'sorry' for Libya flights", BBC News Today, 24 February 2011, via BBC website ( Back

61   Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Review of Consular Evacuation Procedures, 4 July 2011, p.5-6 Back

62   Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Review of Consular Evacuation Procedures, 4 July 2011, p6. This policy was put into practice in Bahrain in March 2011, when the FCO chartered three aircraft from Bahrain to mitigate against the risk of one failing. The first aircraft was cancelled due to lack of demand. Back

63   Ev 85 Back

64   Foreign Affairs Committee, Fifth Report of Session 2009-10, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Annual Report 2008-09, HC145, paras 209-214 Back

65   Ev 86 Back

66   Ev 89 Back

67   Ev 95 Back

68   Ev 71 Back

69   Ev 71 and Ev 96 Back

70   Ev 96 and European Council Conclusions 4 February 2011, Annex II: Declaration on Egypt and the region Back

71   Ev 99-104 Back

72   Ev 70 Back

73   Ev 91 Back

74   Ev 97 Back

75   Ev 71 and Ev 104. See also: HL Deb, 27 April 2011, cols 123WA. Back

76   "EU freezes Mubarak funds", European Voice, 21 March 2011, via website ( Back

77   Ev 107 Back

78   See, for example: "Libya protests: Defiant Gaddafi refuses to quit", BBC News Online, 22 February 2011. Back

79   Ev 109 and joint letter by US President Barack Obama, Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy to The Times of London, the International Herald Tribune, and Le Figaro, 15 April 2011 Back

80   Defence Committee, Operations in Libya Back

81   Foreign Affairs Committee, The Role of the FCO in UK Government, para 187 Back

82   Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons, Lives lost in the Mediterranean Sea: who is responsible?, 29 March 2012, para 11 Back

83   "Libya unrest: SAS members 'captured near Benghazi'", BBC News Online, 6 March 2011, via BBC website (; "SAS and MI6 officers released by Libya's rebel commanders", Guardian, 7 March 2011, via Guardian website ( Back

84   See, for instance: "Libya: Whitehall blame game begins over SAS fiasco", The Telegraph, 7 March 2011. Back

85   HC Deb, 7 March 2011, Col 648 Back

86   France recognised the NTC on 10 March 2011 as the 'legitimate representative of the Libyan people'. Back

87   Ev 119 Back

88   Ev 109-110 Back

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Prepared 19 July 2012