Libya says leaders of Britain, France to visit
But officials will not confirm trip
PARIS - The leaders of France and Britain will make a quick visit to Libya today, an official with Libya’s governing body said, becoming the first foreign heads of government to travel to the country in the post-Moammar Khadafy era.
Suleiman Fortia, a representative of the Libyan city of Misurata to the National Transitional Council, told the Associated Press yesterday that the two leaders were expected to visit.
There was no official confirmation of the visit by the offices of President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain.
“Our policy is never to comment on the prime minister’s schedule,’’ a spokesman for Cameron said.
France and Britain pressed for NATO action to protect civilians against Khadafy’s troops, and a French aircraft was the first to fly in the air campaign over Libya. France was the first country to recognize the council, the closest thing to a government that Libya currently has.
“Those who helped us, we are so happy to receive them as the first leaders to come,’’ Fortia said by telephone from Tripoli. Sarkozy and Cameron will visit Benghazi and Tripoli, according to Fortia.
“We also invite them to visit Misurata because this is the place which showed Khadafy how Libya is strong,’’ he said. He added that he did not know whether the invitation would be accepted today’s trip.
The western port city of Misurata was a stronghold of the revolt against Khadafy’s 42-year rule, playing a central role in the war. The former rebels swept into the capital Aug. 21.