Diplomatic and Military Affairs

Sarkozy agrees to visit Benghazi: report

Updated: 2011-04-23 10:01


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PARIS - French President Nicolas Sarkozy has agreed to visit Benghazi, the stronghold and administration base of Libyan rebels, an unidentified source of the Elysee Palace was quoted as saying by local media on Friday.

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The president has offered "his agreement in principle" to visit Benghazi, the eastern coastal city, where the Council of National Transition (CNT) is based, an invitation initiated by CNT chief Moustapha Adeljalil during his meeting with Sarkozy at the Elysee Palace on Wednesday, AFP said.

The date was yet to be decided, the unnamed source said. However, when inquired by Xinhua, the presidency press office didn't confirm the reports.

France is the first country that recognized the CNT as legitimate body to represent Libya people. The official posture was later on joined by Qatar and Italy.

After their Wednesday meeting, Sarkozy also promised to intensify raids against pro-Gaddafi forces to back rebels. CNT chief Adeljalil on the same day confirmed that the rebels received weapons from "friends" countries.

When inquired on whether France supplied weapons to Libyan rebels, the source said France was not involved but considered it's not illegal for other countries to arm Libyan rebels' force in "protecting civil population."


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