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Countries Agree to Try to Transfer Some of Qaddafi’s Assets to Libyan Rebels

DOHA, Qatar — NATO, Arab and African ministers agreed Wednesday “to work urgently” with the Libyan rebel leadership to set up a mechanism by which some frozen assets belonging to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi and his family might be transferred to the rebel cause.
The agreement came at the first meeting among representatives of the NATO-led coalition, regional leaders and the rebels in a closed-door conference here that was billed as the beginning of a continuing dialogue. There is growing friction among the allied countries and the rebels themselves over how much military force to apply on the Qaddafi government.

But those divisions were set aside — for the moment, at least.

“This is the money of the Libyans, not of Colonel Qaddafi,” said Italy’s foreign minister, Franco Frattini, who added that the assistance would be aimed “at humanitarian and daily needs.”

He said, “People need food, or they need to pay salaries to workers.”

Rebel leaders in Benghazi received the news as a sign that the international community was prepared to sell them weapons.


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