Qatar ready to arm Libyan opposition: amir

Amir of Qatar Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani said on Thursday that his country stands ready to provide arms to the Libyan opposition on request.

"If they will ask for weapons, we're going to provide them," the amir, who is on a visit to the United States, told CNN in an interview.

He confirmed that the opposition had raised a request, but "it will take some time" as the weapons offered need "a lot of training."

When pressed to confirm reports that Qatar has provided French-made anti-tank weapons to the opposition, he replied that "it might be arrived to them during the last two days. It's possible."

Qatar, whose warplanes are joining NATO-led airstrikes on Libya along with the United Arab Emirates, joined France in recognizing the opposition's Interim Transitional National Council as the legitimate representative of Libya, a move followed by Italy.

"It will be wise if America would recognize the opposition," the amir said.

[Source: Xinhua, Washington, 14Apr11]

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