Libyan rebel leader invites Sarkozy to visit

April 20, 2011 12:00 am

, PARIS, Apr 20 – Libya\’s rebel Transitional National Council head Mustafa Abdel Jalil on Wednesday invited President Nicolas Sarkozy to visit the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, after talks with the French leader.

"We have invited the French president to come visit Benghazi. I think that would be very important for the revolution\’s morale," Abdel Jalil told journalists after 45 minutes of talks in Paris.

The president\’s office said it had "taken note" of Abdel Jalil\’s invitation, which came as France announced it had sent some military advisers to help the embattled rebellion against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.

France became the first country to recognise the TNC as a "legitimate representative" of the Libyan people on March 10 when Sarkozy received three of the council\’s representatives. Since then Qatar and Italy have followed suit.

"France and all the countries that have supported us and backed us up will have a very important role in the Libyan people\’s future," Abdel Jalil said, hailing Sarkozy\’s "brave decision" to recognise the TNC.

Abdel Jalil said he had "promised the international community to build a democratic state where the head of state, the government, will come to power not through tanks but through the ballot box."

"We also undertake to work in the fight against terrorism, to stop illegal immigration as well as human trafficking, which has been harmful primarily for us," Abdel Jalil said.

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