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US senator McCain calls for more aids for Libyan rebels

04-23-2011 08:43 BJT Special Report:Int'l Intervention in Libya |

BENGHAZI, Libya, April 22 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Senator John McCain on Friday called on the internationally community to deliver more aids to the rebels' "National Transitional Council" (NTC) after his one-day visit to Benghazi, Libya's eastern city which has been controlled by the rebels for more than two months.

McCain met with key members of the NTC, the U.S. special envoy to Benghazi, the British military advisor, and the injured in a hospital, according to an agenda released by an aide to the senator.

Libya has been witnessing nation-wide unrest for two months after the anti-government protests broke up in mid February, which demands an end to leader Muammar Gaddafi's 41-year rule.

The insurgents and the Libyan government troops kept fighting in the past few weeks and the front line moved back and forth between Brega and Ajdabiyah, two towns that are more than 100 km west of Benghazi.

The veteran U.S. politician who hailed Benghazi as "sources of hope" told reporters that he will encourage every nation, especially the United States to recognize the NTC as the legitimate voice of the Libyan people, and called for more aids for the opposition to "create a condition on the ground" to force Gaddafi to leave.

"Governments which froze assets of Gaddafi regime should release part of the money to the NTC so that they can sustain and improve their span and capacity of governance," he said.

McCain also urged NATO to adopt emergency steps in air campaign to protect civilians in Misrata, saying that "I support Secretary of Defence Gates' decision to use predatory aircraft in Misrata so that we can better identify Gaddafi's forces concealed in civilian areas."

The rebels are not "al-Qaida" terrorists claimed by Gaddafi, McCain said, but he was concerned about the stalemate which may " open a door" for the radical Islamists to infiltrate into the country.

The U.S. senator asked NATO to supply "sufficient and appropriate assistance" to help the rebels, including command and control, intelligence, training and weapons.

Misrata, Libya's third largest city about 210 km east of Tripoli, has been under siege of Gaddafi's forces since early March.

International organizations and neighboring countries are now conducting humanitarian operations to ship thousands of stranded foreigners and the injured out of Misrata.

The rebels have pledged that they would not ask NATO to send ground troops to Libya, however, the NTC said on Wednesday it would not refuse military intervention on the ground in Misrata for the humanitarian reason.



Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: Xinhua

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