Vince Henderson, Dominica’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations. * Photo credit:

Dominica is maintaining diplomatic relations with the African region of Libya at least for now, despite questionable actions by the Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

Several people were killed in widespread anti-government protests in Libya over the past month with clashes being reported between forces loyal to the Gaddafi regime and pro-democracy people.

Gaddafi’s regime was reported to have turned helicopter gunships on protesters, killing close to 20 people, adding to the hundreds that had already lost their lives in the unrest.

Questioned by BBC Caribbean on Dominica’s stance on the matter, Vince Henderson, Dominica’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said while Dominica hopes the situation will come under control the government here has not taken any decision to sever ties with the Gaddafi regime.

He dispelled suggestions Dominica is not taking a tough stance against Gaddafi and his actions because of financial gains.

“People have a right to speculate… Countries are always guided by self-interest in conducting their foreign relations, that is not to say that countries do not take decisions in the interest of other nationals from other countries.

“In some circumstances, decisions to have or not to have diplomatic relations, is determined on the domestic situation in the other country… but as far as Dominica having any financial benefit from Tripoli, that is not the deciding factor,” he told the BBC.

“At this time the government has not taken any decision to sever links with Tripoli,” Henderson said.