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"Thank you, Sarkozi, from the Libyan children": a Libyan girl holds a sign with a pre Gadhafi flag. Nasser Nasser/AP

Libyan rebels to ask Qatar summit for more intensive attacks

A summit in Qatar will see Libyan rebels appeal to NATO forces to take more swift and decisive action to oust Gaddafi.

LIBYA’S REBEL LEADERS are expected to ask world powers to step up their attacks on the regime of Muammar Gaddafi at a summit being held in the Qatari capital of Doha today.

The conference of the ‘International Conflict Group on Libya’ will see the leadership of the rebel factions making their first high-profile diplomatic appearance, the BBC reports.

A spokesman for the group – styling itself the Transitional National Council – said it wanted to move “from the de facto recognition of the council to an internationally-recognised legitimacy”.

Al Jazeera reports, though, that the Libyan government has dismissed the talks, and played down Qatar’s role in the conflict. “We are very hopeful that the American people and the American government will not buy into the Qatari lies and Qatari schemes,” a government spokesman told reporters.

Among the attendees at today’s summit will be former Libyan foreign minister Moussa Koussa, who Al Jazeera said is expected to meet with the rebels. British sources, however, have indicated that he will not be a full participant and will hold talks ‘on the sidelines’.

CNN said other attendees will include UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon and a UN delegation, as well as officials from the EU, Arab League, NATO and the African Union.

A NATO official has insisted that the alliance is doing a “great job” – though William Hague and Alain Juppe, the foreign ministers of Britain and France, have both called for NATO to increase its role.

The meeting comes a day after major violence in the city of Misrata, 210km east of Tripoli, with ten people reported dead.

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