Libyan rebel Council expects international recognition soon

CAIRO Sat Mar 5, 2011 9:58pm GMT

A rebel walks inside a destroyed weapons dump near Benghazi March 5, 2011. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

A rebel walks inside a destroyed weapons dump near Benghazi March 5, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Suhaib Salem

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CAIRO (Reuters) - The interim National Council composed of Libyan rebels against the 41-year rule of Muammar Gaddafi expects to be formally recognized soon by some countries, its head told al Jazeera channel.

"There are official contacts with European and Arab (countries). Upon the release (later) today of a statement, some countries will announce their recognition," ex-Justice Minister Mustafa Abdel Jalil, who heads the council, told the channel.

He also said a military force, led by defecting members of the Libyan army, would make its way to the strategic Mediterranean coast city of Sirte, held by Gaddafi loyalists, before heading on to the capital Tripoli.

The Council is based in the rebel-held eastern city of Benghazi. Earlier on Saturday, it named a three-member crisis committee to cover military and foreign affairs in a bid to streamline decision-making.

(Reporting by Cairo newsroom, Writing by Rabat newsroom; Editing by Matthew Jones)

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