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Italian PM, Libyan rebel leader to meet within days: report

(Xinhua)

10:24, August 23, 2011

ROME, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi would meet with Libyan rebel leader Mahmoud Jibril in a few days, local news agency Ansa reported on Monday.

According to the report, Berlusconi on Monday had a telephone conversation with Jibril, leader of the Libyan rebel-led National Transitional Council (NTC), exchanging opinions on Libya's situation.

Berlusconi and Jibril agreed to have a meeting "in the next few days" in Italy for further communication, said the report.

During the phone call, Berlusconi praised the rapid advance of the NTC forces and reconfirmed Italy's commitment to support the new Libyan authorities for the construction of a democratic and united country.

The prime minister also expressed appreciation for the determination of the NTC to avoid revenge and hoped that Libya may soon have a government that represents all parts of the country.

In the telephone conversation, Jibril warmly thanked Italy for its support to the NTC.

Earlier on Monday, Berlusconi urged Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to stop all "unnecessary resistance" to save his people from further suffering.

Berlusconi enjoyed close ties with Gaddafi before the crisis in the North Africa country. Local media reported that Berlusconi was once opposed to participating in NATO air strikes against Gaddafi before he changed his mind in late April.

Protests against Gaddafi erupted in February this year and led to a civil war-like situation between rebel groups based in the eastern part of the country and forces loyal to Gaddafi based in the west.

Libyan rebel forces took control of most of Tripoli on Sunday night and were still clearing up the remnants of Gaddafi's forces, while Gaddafi's whereabouts remained unknown.


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