British prime minister holds talks with Libyan rebel leader

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday invited the rebel Libyan Interim National Transitional Council to establish a London office during a meeting with council chairman Mustafa Abdul Jalil.

Cameron said the British presence in the opposition-held port of Benghazi would also be boosted.

"These steps continue our very clear intention to work with the council to ensure Libya has a safe and stable future, free from the tyranny of the Gaddafi regime," the prime minister said.

Camerson said Britain is completing plans to transfer several million pounds worth of equipment to the police in Benghazi and also will help improve the council's public broadcasting capacities.

Cameron said he and Jalil discussed events in Libya and how to build the future that the Libyan people deserved.

"It is impossible to imagine a real future for Libya with Gaddafi in power," Camerson said, "The council represents the future of Libya as much as (Libyan leader Muammar) Gaddafi represents its past."

Jalil said he came to London to express gratitude to the British people and their government "for their discipline and moral stand" in supporting the rebellion.

"This stand was not based on any benefit that the British government may derive from this support," he said. "It is a humanitarian position. I assure you that you will never regret taking this stand."

Jalil met with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and also was scheduled to hold talks with Foreign Secretary William Hague, who said in a statement that "the NTC is a legitimate representative of the Libyan people."

"The situation in Libya remains of very serious concern, and this visit provides a welcome opportunity to discuss with Jalil the latest situation on the ground," Hague said, "and to look at how Britain and international community can continue to support the Libyan people."

The British government has urged Gaddafi to stand down immediately and initiate a real ceasefire, so that the legitimate needs of Libya's people can be met, Hague said.

[Source: Xinhua, London, 12May11]

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