Benghazi (Libya), March 10 (IANS/AKI) Anti-government protesters in Libya are in contact with the Italian government, a spokesman for the rebels said.
“We’ve had telephone contact since yesterday (Tuesday) with Italy’s Foreign Minister Franco Frattini,” a spokesman for the opposition National Council, Abel Hafiz Al Ghogha, told journalists Wednesday in Benghazi – Libya’s second largest city.
However, he did not disclose the content of their discussions.
Libya has been witnessing massive anti-government protests since Feb 14. The protesters are demanding the ouster of Gaddafi who has ruled the north African country for almost 42 years.
Earlier Wednesday, Frattini said he was “not aware” that any Libyan private jets flying from Tripoli had landed in Italy on their way to Brussels or elsewhere.
Frattini’s denial followed a some media reports that private Libyan planes were flying to Brussels, Cairo and Vienna with top Gaddafi aides on board — and possibly Gaddafi himself.
Frattini said authorities at Rome and Milan’s main airports had denied that any Libyan private jets had landed. “But we will be investigating the reports,” he added.
Italy, which colonised Libya from 1911-1943, has good business relations with the oil-rich Arab state.
It has said it would let its military bases be used by allied warplanes if the UN Security Council passed a resolution authorising a no-fly zone over Libya to stop Gaddafi forces bombing rebel positions.