An enthusiastic advocate for greater US involvement in Libya, the republican senator John McCain, has gone to the rebel capital Benghazi.
A spokesman for the Libyan National Council said he was shown the courthouse where the protests against Muammar Gadaffi’s regime began in mid-February.
McCain is the senior republican on the US Senate Armed Services Committee.
“We are meeting with the Council, we’re meeting with the military, we’re meeting with lots of people,” he said.
McCain’s visit coincided with comments from the chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff who said the conflict in Libya was heading towards stalemate.
France and Britain are to send military officers to help the rebels with liaison, organisation and communications.
But Russia has warned that their presence would breach the terms of the UN mandate.