French celebrity writer Levy in Libyan rebel city Misrata

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Bernard-Henri Levy, a writer who helped engineer France's path-breaking recognition of Libya's fledgling rebel authority, was Sunday in the rebel-held city of Misrata, his website said.

"He has brought a series of letters of solidarity and support from the mayors of some of France's biggest cities," his online magazine La Regle du Jeu said in a statement.

It said Levy had travelled by boat from Malta and arrived on Saturday in the western city, which is surrounded by forces loyal to Libyan strongman Moamer Kadhafi, and on Sunday presented the letters to local leaders in Misrata.

In early March Levy, one of France's best-known public intellectuals, went to the eastern Libyan town of Benghazi, liberated days earlier by rebel forces after a bloody firestorm of protest.

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 in the world to recognise the provisional body as legitimate, and to call for targeted air strikes against forces loyal to Kadhafi.

© 2011 AFP

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