Apology would help: Carr

FOREIGN Minister Bob Carr says an apology from the International Criminal Court to the Libyan Government would go some way to securing the release of detained Australian lawyer Melinda Taylor.

Senator Carr spent six hours in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Monday where he met with Libya's Prime Minister and Deputy Foreign Minister, ambassadors of other countries and ICC representatives.

Ms Taylor is one of four ICC representatives being detained in Zintan. They were arrested following a meeting with Seif al-Islam, the son of deposed Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Senator Carr has suggested Australia act as a facilitator in negotiations between the Libyan Government and the ICC.
It was one of a number of suggestions he made to resolve the stalemate.

He said the Libyan Government was embarrassed and eager to resolve the situation, adding an apology from the ICC would remove one of the major hurdles in the negotiations.

"I accept absolutely the goodwill of the (Libyan) leadership and I believe that they want the detainees released," Mr Carr told ABC radio.

"There's no advantage to them in continuing to hold these four detainees.

"I believe that it would have been far better for the ICC to have settled with the government of Libya on the procedures before they sent Melinda Taylor and her colleagues into Zintan."

"I believe that if the ICC offers a form of words (or regret or an apology) then there's little doubt about the national government in Libya and their desire to get beyond what to them is an embarrassment, that is the detaining of people doing a job for the ICC."

Senator Carr, who is in the region for a meeting of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative in Istanbul and for one-day meetings in Algeria and Morocco, said the ICC had already made statements he believed would appease the Libyan Government.

Libya told Senator Carr the investigation was complete and the government would respond to the United Nations Security Council's statement on the matter soon.

Senator Carr expressed appreciation to Prime Minister El-Keib for seeing him on short notice and taking Australian concerns seriously.

"The Prime Minister undertook to talk to his Attorney-General and the prosecutor so that detainees could make phone calls to their families, meet their ambassadors and receive full consular access," Senator Carr said.

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