Report: Daughter of Libyan Leader Breaks Protocol in London
Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's daughter launched into a diplomatically embarrassing defense of the Irish Republican Army in a public park in central London, according to The Sunday Times.
It said Aisha, 23, had broken diplomatic protocol by praising the IRA as freedom fighters in an unscripted speech at Speaker's Corner -- a small area of Hyde Park that is a traditional soap box for all and sundry.
Her reported action is doubly embarrassing -- firstly, because Kadhafi is accused of having funded the IRA, particularly with arms; secondly, because London and Tripoli are trying, slowly, to normalize relations.
Diplomatic ties were broken off following the murder in 1984 of a British woman police officer outside the Libyan embassy in London.
Two years later, US jets based in Britain bombed Tripoli.
And two years after that, a Pan Am jet exploded in mid-air over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people on board and on the ground.
Two alleged Libyan intelligence officers are currently standing trial for the bombing in a Scottish court set up in the Netherlands.
In recent years, however, particularly after Tripoli handed over the two for trial, Britain and Libya have been seeking to improve their ties.
Members of Kadhafi's family have been given an open invitation to visit London under the watchful eye of the Foreign Office, according to The Sunday Times.
It said the visits were supported by Richard Dalton, the newly appointed British ambassador to Tripoli.
According to the weekly paper, Aisha Kadhafi left London on Wednesday. It said her visit was believed to have been cut short by the Libyan leader, who wants to avoid an upset.
"She is hot-blooded and has a fiery temper, like her father," a diplomatic source told the paper. "She thought she would speak her mind on the IRA, but the crowd did not like it." - LONDON (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)