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Berri Demands Immediate Arab Governmental Recognition of Libyan National Council

House Speaker Nabih Berri demanded on Friday an immediate recognition by all Arab governments of the Libyan rebel National Council.

He said in a letter to the head of the Arab Inter-parliamentary Union Mohammed bin Mubarak al-Khulaifi: “Immediate calls should be made to all Arab governments for the immediate recognition of the council which represents the popular revolution and the people’s resistance to the barbarism of the Gadhafi regime.”

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Libyan Regime Plans to Cut Ties with Paris over Recognizing Rebels

Libya is planning to cut its diplomatic relations with France after French President Nicolas Sarkozy recognized rebels opposed to Moammar Gadhafi, the official Jana news agency reported Thursday.

The Tripoli government would "consider severing ties with France after information about the dangerous intervention in Libyan affairs," a foreign ministry official was quoted as saying by Jana.

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Rebels Retreat as Gadhafi Shells Rain Down on Ras Lanuf

Relentless pounding by Moammar Gadhafi's forces sent rebels fleeing a key oil hub Thursday, and a town near Tripoli was recaptured, as the Red Cross warned of escalating conflict in Libya that it termed a civil war.

As loyalists appeared to have wrested back the initiative on the battlefield, a source close to Nicolas Sarkozy said the French president will propose "targeted air strikes" in Libya.

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France, Germany Urge EU to Talk with Libyan Opposition

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe on Thursday said Paris and Berlin were calling on their European Union partners to engage in dialogue with Libyan opposition leaders.

Speaking after talks with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, Juppe said, "We are on the same track to say Colonel Gadhafi is discredited, he must go, we must engage dialogue with the new Libyan representatives."

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Gadhafi Sends Letter to Arab League, Envoys to Europe, Rebels to Send Envoys to Paris

Nicolas Sarkozy will on Thursday meet envoys of Libya's rebel national council which is fighting to oust strongman Moammar Gadhafi, the French president's office said.

Sarkozy would meet Mahmoud Jibril and Ali Essaoui to discuss the "general situation in Libya, in particular the humanitarian situation and the actions of the national council," a statement said.

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Riyadh Says Decision on Libya Fly Ban Up to Arab League

Saudi Arabia said Wednesday that a decision to support imposing a no-fly zone over Libya was up to the Arab League, not only Gulf countries.

"It is an issue that is the responsibility of the Arab League," Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal told a press conference in the Red Sea city of Jeddah.

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Gadhafi Accuses West of Plot to 'Colonize' Libya

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi warned on Wednesday that the region would be engulfed in chaos, spreading to Israel's doorstep, if al-Qaida takes control of his country.

"If al-Qaida manages to seize Libya, then the entire region, up to Israel, will be at the prey of chaos,” he said in an interview with Turkey's public TRT television channel.

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Spain Says Libya Military Intervention Must Be 'Last Resort'

Any military intervention in Libya should be the "last resort" and with the approval of the United Nations, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said Tuesday.

"Before any possible intervention in Libya, we must note the principles to follow, firstly the (approval of the U.N.) Security Council," he said.

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Arab League to Hold Crisis Talks on Libya Saturday

Arab foreign ministers are to hold crisis talks on Saturday to discuss imposing a no-fly zone over Libya, Arab League officials said, as Libyan jets keep up near daily strikes to crush a rebellion.

The meeting was initially scheduled for Friday, but was postponed a day after requests from several foreign ministers, deputy secretary general Ahmed Ben Hilli told reporters.

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Libya No-Fly Zone Calls Mount as New Battles Loom

Libya's air force stepped up air strikes and heavy shelling was heard on Tuesday on the front line, as the revolt against Moammar Gadhafi's regime entered its third week amid mounting calls for a no-fly zone over the country.

As the violence escalated, the Arab League said foreign ministers of its member states would meet on Saturday for crisis talks on the situation, a day later than originally announced.

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