The United Nations will meet government officials and Libyan representatives at a summit in the Qatari capital of Doha to try and end the fighting in Libya and create a roadmap for the embattled country’s future.

The Libya Contact group’s meeting hopes to succeed where military action has failed. Despite UN-sanctioned airstrikes by the Allies to help the rebels, the ongoing conflict between pro-Gaddafi forces and the rebels has become bogged down in a bloody stalemate.

The summit comes a day after yet more bloodletting in the western city of Misrata which has become a symbol of defiance and determination for the revolution.

There were more fatalities as Gaddafi’s forces continued to shell the town, with some commentators describing the siege as a “mini-Stalingrad”.

Libya: Gaddafi accepts peace plan

Meanwhile foreign secretary William Hague defended the government’s decision to allow Moussa Koussa to leave Britain to attend the summit.

“He’s a Gaddafi insider. He may be able to offer solutions where others are falling short,’ said a Whitehall source
“We behave according to the law. The matter of arrests is for prosecuting authorities and police; that is not for ministers to decide,” Hague told The Daily Telegraph.

“He is not detained, he came here of his own volition. If he was under arrest, he wouldn’t be allowed to leave.”

Koussa, the former intelligence chief for Gaddafi’s regime known as “fingernail puller in chief defected to the UK last month.

Last week Koussa was questioned by Scottish police over the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988.

The flight crashed into the town of Lockerbie killing 270 people.