Libyan rebel leader Jibril to hold talks with Sarkozy
Libyan rebel leader Mahmoud Jibril was to hold talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris later Wednesday as countries jostled to take the diplomatic lead on Libya, where Moamer Gaddafi's regime was verging on collapse, DPA reported.
Jibril is the second-in-command in the Transitional National Council, which coordinated the rebel offensive and which many countries recognize as Libya's de-facto government.
He was to arrive in Paris from Qatar, where a donor conference on Libya was due to take place Wednesday.
Meanwhile, fighting was ongoing in Libya between rebels and remaining pockets of Gaddafi loyalists in Tripoli and other cities.
The rebels hope to raise 2.4 billion dollars, which Jibril said would be used to pay salaries before the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and to secure medical treatment for people wounded in six months of fighting.
Qatar and France are both members of the NATO-led coalition that has imposed a United Nations-mandated no-fly zone over Libya and bombed regime targets since March.
Sarkozy - who led the diplomatic campaign for foreign intervention in Libya - was to discuss with Jibril how the international community could support the political transition in Libya, the French presidency said.
France also plans to host a meeting next week of the Libya Contact Group, consisting of mostly Western and Arab countries that participated in, or supported, the military campaign.
Meanwhile, Turkey was also seeking to play a role. On Thursday, diplomats from the Contact Group are to meet in Istanbul, to convince the international community to speed up the release to the opposition council of billions of dollars in frozen Gaddafi regime assets.