Supporting Libya’s rebels tops the agenda in Rome today. Twenty-two countries and six international organisations are represented in the contact group.
Before that meeting, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini. Officials said the talks of the NATO-backed coalition against Muammar Gaddafi are not focusing on military aspects.
Clinton said: “Clearly on our agenda is looking for the most effective ways to deliver financial assistance and other means of supporting and helping the TNC (Transitional National Council) opposition.”
Frattini said the plan is to set up a type of internationally controlled trust fund for the rebels. A spokesman said this would give the TNC, which is the governing body in eastern Libya, a boost fighting Gaddafi’s regime. The rebels are asking for up to three billion dollars. The civilian population is also facing difficulty buying food and medicine.