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Austria welcomes Libyan rebels' Tripoli offensive with caution

(Xinhua)

13:45, August 24, 2011

VIENNA, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- Austria officials on Tuesday cautiously welcomed the massive offensive by Libyan rebels in a bid to take control of the capital city Tripoli.

According to Austrian Press Agency (APA), Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann on Tuesday warned that it was still too early to say the conflict in Libya had ended.

He also pledged economic assistance to the transitional government with focus on restoring normal living conditions in conflict-torn Libya.

Michael Spindelegger, vice chancellor and foreign minister of Austria, also said the situation in Libya was "still completely unclear" and the political situation was "totally unmanageable."

Nevertheless, Spindelegger was already considering the reintroduction of Austrian companies in Libya.

The vice chancellor also proposed to move the European Union's Libyan office from the rebel stronghold Benghazi to Tripoli in order to be better informed of the current situation in Libya.

Austrian Defense Minister Norbert Darabos,in the meantime, denied the possibility of Austrian army deployment in the oil-rich North African country.

Austria currently maintains army presence in the Balkan and the Middle East, thus did not have enough military strength to send troops in Libya, he said, adding that there were other ways to provide assistance, such as in civilian reconstruction.

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