Libyan rebel chief, Cameron agree on 'remarkable' progress

22nd August 2011, Comments 0 comments

Libyan rebel chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil and British Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the "remarkable" progress made by opposition forces in the north African country, in a telephone conversation on Monday.

Cameron and the chairman of the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) spoke after fighters streamed into Tripoli and captured at least two of Moamer Kadhafi's sons, although fierce battles raged in parts of the Libyan capital.

"Both leaders welcomed the remarkable progress made by the Free Libyan Forces and agreed that this is an important time for the Libyan people as they get closer to achieving their dream of a free and democratic Libya," Cameron's Downing Street office said in a statement.

"Jalil confirmed that they now had the control of the majority of Tripoli although there were still pockets of resistance not just in the capital but across the country.

"The prime minister reiterated that NATO would continue its mission to protect civilians until they are no longer threatened by Kadhafi," the statement added.

Cameron praised Jalil's leadership and encouraged him to "build on this" as the NTC sought to implement its constitution in the coming days.

The two men also "agreed the need to continue to respect human rights through the transition process" -- Jalil warned earlier he could quit if he loses control of the revolution and insurgents seek revenge against Kadhafi loyalists.

Jalil also welcomed the suggestion of bringing forward the next Contact Group meeting on Libya "so that the NTC can set out any assistance they would like from the international community in the days ahead", the statement said.

France said it would host a Contact Group meeting -- which is normally attended by foreign ministers and used to coordinate the international response to events in Libya -- from next week.

A Downing Street source said London and Paris "are thinking along the same lines" on the timing of the meeting.

Cameron said earlier Kadhafi's regime was in "full retreat" and urged him to give up any hope he has of clinging on to power and stop fighting.

Kadhafi's whereabouts are still unknown.

© 2011 AFP

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