'Message' to Israel denied by Libya rebels
French writer Bernard-Henri Levy said he delivered a message from Libyan rebel leaders to Israel's premier on Thursday saying they would seek diplomatic ties with Israel if they came to power.
But his comments were promptly denied in the rebel bastion of Benghazi.
"We didn't send him any messages," Abdelhafiz Ghoga, spokesman for the rebel council, told journalists.
Earlier, Levy told AFP he passed on the verbal message from Libya's National Transitional Council during a 90-minute meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.
"The main point was that the future Libyan regime would be moderate and anti-terrorist and will be concerned with justice for the Palestinians and security for Israel," Levy said.
"The future regime will maintain normal relations with other democratic countries, including Israel," he added.
Levy, who helped engineer France's recognition of Libya's fledgling rebel authority, visited the rebel-held Libyan city of Misrata last weekend.
He said on Thursday that Netanyahu "did not appear surprised" at the content of the Libyan message.
Netanyahu's office confirmed the meeting with the French writer and philosopher but did not comment on the discussion. "The prime minister likes to meet intellectuals," a spokesman said.
In early March, Levy went to the eastern Libyan town of Benghazi, days after its capture by rebel forces.
He met members of the just-formed National Transitional Council and arranged for some of them to meet French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris on March 10.
At the end of that meeting, which Levy attended, France became the first country to recognise the provisional body as legitimate and to call for targeted air strikes against Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's forces.
© 2011 AFP