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Sarkozy to visit Benghazi for talks with opposition

RIA Novosti

18:42 27/05/2011 MOSCOW, May 27 (RIA Novosti) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy will pay a working visit to the Libyan opposition stronghold of Benghazi to hold talks with the country's insurgents.

"The head of the Transitional Council has invited me, and I together with [French Foreign Minister] Allan Juppe will head to Benghazi at the right moment...We would meet with those who want to rebuild tomorrow's democratic Libya," Sarkozy said during his speech at the G8 summit in Deauville, France.

The date of the visit has not been specified, Sarkozy added.

France along with Italy and Qatar has already recognized Libya's Transitional National Council formed on February 27.

The United States also views the rebel government as "legitimate," but has yet to recognize it.

The unrest in the North African country, which began in mid-February, has already claimed thousands of lives, with longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi's troops maintaining their combat capabilities despite massive NATO airstrikes against them.

Sarkozy also proposed toughening measures against Iran.

"Iran could have used the revolutions in Arab world to distract the attention from its nuclear program. It is absolutely inadmissible, and we will impose new measures to toughen the sanctions," Sarkozy said.

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