Clinton meets Libyan opposition in London: official

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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met a leading member of the Libyan opposition on Tuesday while visiting London for an international conference on Libya, a senior administration official said.

It was her second meeting with Mahmud Jibril, who handles foreign affairs for Libya's rebel Provisional Transitional National Council, following a first on March 15 in Paris where Clinton was attending a Group of Eight meeting.

She is in London for a meeting of international powers to map out Libya's future.

Earlier Tuesday, British Foreign Secretary William Hague also met with Jibril, whom he had invited to London but not to the conference.

The transitional council "is an important and legitimate political interlocutor and the UK is committed to strengthening our contacts with a wide range of members of the Libyan opposition who are working to create a Libya where the legitimate aspirations of its people can be met", Hague said.

The foreign secretary said he discussed the political and humanitarian situation in Libya with Jibril, and the importance of protecting civilians.

"We considered how best the UK as well as other attendees at today's London conference can best support the Libyan people, and I asked for Mr. Jibril's assessment of the humanitarian needs in Libya and priorities for international assistance," Hague said.

© 2011 AFP

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