Diplomat says Nato chief has invited Libya rebels to Brussels

2011-07-05 11:06

Brussels – Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen is to meet Libyan opposition members in Brussels next week, an alliance diplomat said today, their first invitation to Nato headquarters.

The meeting, called by Rasmussen, was agreed by ambassadors of the 28-nation alliance and will take place on July 13, the diplomat told AFP.

“Nato countries agreed to invite the rebels because there is no Nato representation in Benghazi yet,” the diplomat said on condition of anonimity.

Separately, a European diplomat said a member of the Transitional National Council (TNC) will likely meet with senior European Union officials next week.

Nato officials declined to confirm whether Rasmussen had invited the rebels, but noted he has met TNC officials at meetings abroad of the international contact group on Libya.

“Nato has had contacts with the TNC as part of the broad international efforts to find a solution to the Libya crisis,” a Nato official said.

“For instance the secretary general has met representatives of the TNC in the context of the contact group. Such meetings have taken place and will continue to take place,” the official said.

Several Nato nations, including the United States, Britain and France, have recognised the TNC as the legitimate representatives of the Libyan people so far.

Yesterday, Turkey became the latest alliance member to recognise them.

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