Washington: The US on Wednesday praised the
Libyan opposition and said the rebel group has done a good job
in its effort to oust long time ruler Muammar Gaddafi and over
the period of time has become more coherent.
"The opposition in Libya is becoming more coherent,"
State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters.
"It was a group of disparate individuals that has
formed in the face of Gaddafi`s onslaught and oppression, and
has done a good job, frankly, at coalescing, at forming a
leadership, at creating certain values and communicating those
values and ideals. We`re encouraged by what we`ve seen," he
said in response to question.
Toner said the US is assessing the needs of the Libyan
"Certainly, there`s humanitarian needs that are at the
forefront right now, considering the pressure they`re under.
But we`re looking at other forms of assistance," he said,
adding that these would be non-lethal form of assistance.
However, no decision has been taken on recognizing the
Transitional National Council.
In Doha last week there was the broad recognition
among participants there that there was needed to set in place
some kind of financial mechanism that can help the opposition
remain operational on the ground.
"We realise they`re short of funds and that they need
that kind of assistance to continue, but that`s being fleshed
out right now, and we`re also looking at other terms of
non-lethal assistance. I don`t have anything to announce right
now, but it is being worked," he said.
Toner argued that a lot done in terms of Libya in a
very short span of time considering that it`s all been done on
a multilateral basis: the standing up of two UN Security
Council resolutions and the implementation of both of them,
including one that involved a no-fly zone and a civilian
protection component, getting NATO on board.
The State Department spokesman, however, ruled out
sending US troops on the ground.
"In reference to ground troops, the President was
clear at the onset of this operation that US would not be
putting in troops into Libya. We do have a representative in
Benghazi. He has been consulting closely with the TNC, with
representatives there," he said.
"We are also obviously in close contact with our other
allies on the ground there, the UK and others, talking about
all of these possibilities and ways to improve communications
and ways to help the opposition in its struggle," Toner said.