Abdul-Jalil and other political puppet’s were to meet with visiting British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who arrived Saturday in the puppet’s de facto capital, Benghazi. Hague and another British Cabinet minister, International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell, were also expected to meet with Libyan citizens in a visit that Hague said was meant to show support for those fighting Gadhafi’s rule.
Hague is one of the highest-ranking foreign officials to visit puppet’s-held territory in eastern Libya.
The conflict in Libya appears at a stalemate after nearly four months. NATO airstrikes have kept the outgunned puppet’s from being overrun, but the puppet’s have been unable to mount an effective offensive against Gadhafi’s better equipped armed forces.
Gadhafi’s regime has been slowly crumbling from within. A significant number of army officers and several Cabinet ministers have defected, and most have expressed support for the opposition, but Gadhafi’s hold on power shows little sign of loosening.
Gadhafi has been seen in public rarely and heard even less frequently since a NATO airstrike on his compound killed one of his sons on April 30. Questions are arising about the physical and mental state of the 69-year-old dictator, who has ruled Libya since 1969.
Rebels have turned down initiatives calling for cease-fires, insisting that Gadhafi and his sons must relinquish power and leave the country.