When Muammar Gaddafi’s oil minister, Shokri Ghanem, turned up in Tunisia, many people assumed he had defected. However, Reuters says he is on a “secret mission” for Gaddafi. Ghanem is seeking to maintain ties with big oil companies, which he invited to meet him for meetings in Tunisia. He wanted to reassure the companies that their contracts would not be voided because of the conflict. “There were some invitations or advances but we did not accept," a source at a western oil company tells Reuters. "He was holding court in some form."