U.S. views Libyan opposition as legitimate interlocutor

13:34, May 14, 2011      

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U.S. President Barack Obama's National Security Advisor Tom Donilon stated on Friday that Washington views the Libyan opposition's Interim Transitional National Council (TNC) as a legitimate and credible interlocutor of the Libyan people.

Meeting at the White House with Mahmoud Gibril, president of the TNC's Executive Bureau, Donilon reiterated Obama's call for Gaddafi to leave immediately, the White House said in a statement.

Donilon and Gibril discussed how the United States and the coalition can provide additional support to the TNC, the statement said.

In his first visit to Washington as president of the TNC's Executive Bureau, Gibril will also meet with other senior U.S. government officials and members of Congress, the White House said.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Friday that he did not anticipate formal U.S. recognition of the TNC as legitimate representative of the Libyan people after the meeting between Donilon and Gibril.

"The question of recognition is one of many policy issues still under review, and we're continuing to assess the capabilities of the TNC as we deepen our engagement with the opposition," he told reporters at the White House.

He noted that the White House is discussing with Congress on access to blocked Libyan government assets in the United States, valued at some 30 billion U.S. dollars, for humanitarian purposes in Libya.

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