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Libyan rebels seek support for armed struggle

A Libyan rebel fighter scrambles from a ditch to reach the battle against forces loyal to leader Muammar Gaddafi, a few kilometers outside the oil town of Ras Lanuf on March 9, 2011. The rebel leadership is calling on the international community to back its armed struggle against Gaddafi with arms supplies and a no-fly zone. Photo Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images.

The newly formed National Libyan Council (NLC), the apex organisation of the Libyan uprising has called on the international community to help their people "to continue their armed struggle against Gaddafi."

Meeting with EU foreign affairs chief, Baroness Ashton on Tuesday, the head of the NLC's crisis committee, Mahmoud Jebril also called on the EU “to recognize the council as the sole legitimate representative of the Libyan people.”

Empowering the people to continue their armed struggle against Qaddafi can be done by different means,” Mr. Jebril said.

No fly zone is one of them, supplying the peoples with arms [is another],” he said, adding the Libyan opposition did not want foreign ground troops to intervene.

See reports by the BBC here, and Reuters here.

EU officials said the meeting did not represent an endorsement of the men or the opposition council, even though the European Union has called for Qaddafi to step down.

After the meeting Lady Ashton’s spokesperson said:

“The meeting took place in a positive atmosphere and (Ashton) will reflect on what they said. She will continue to engage with them.”

An EU diplomat told Reuters France was working on arranging a meeting between the two Libyans and French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe in the next two days.