Libya rebels to name Paris envoy: France

24th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

The Libyan revolutionary movement fighting Moamer Kadhafi's regime is to name an official envoy to France, the French foreign ministry said Tuesday, welcoming the move.

"The Transitional National Council is to name a Paris representative soon. We entirely support the idea of installing a TNC representative in France," ministry spokesman Bernard Valero told reporters.

Valero said it had not yet been decided whether the rebel envoy would set up his office in the existing Libyan embassy, nor whether he would be accorded full diplomatic status.

France was the first country to recognise the TNC, a Benghazi-based rebel council that is leading the revolt against Kadhafi's regime, as a "legitimate representative of the Libyan people".

Paris has broken diplomatic ties with Tripoli, expelled a number of Libyan diplomats and sent an ambassador -- Antoine Sivan -- along with military advisors to the rebel bastion in eastern Libya.

President Nicolas Sarkozy also took the lead in persuading a coalition of NATO and Arab states to launch an air war against Kadhafi, ordering strikes on his forces under the auspicies of a UN mandate to "protect civilians".

French and British jets have spearheaded the Allied effort, and both now plan to base attack choppers on helicopter carriers just off the Libyan coast to carry out more precise strikes on armoured vehicles.

Valero said France was "working actively" with the CNT to set up a representative office for the revolution in Paris.

© 2011 AFP

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