Libyan opposition: We want international political support more than weapons
Members of the Libyan opposition's Interim National Council appealed for support at the London meeting of world leaders.
â€śWe have been fighting with machine gunsâ€ť against a superior army, said media chief Mahmoud Shammam, "but we are asking for political support more than we are asking for arms.â€ť
In sharp contrast to what Muammar Qaddafi has called drug addicts and Al Qaeda members, he described the rebel movement as being made up of "well-educated" young people. What's more, said Shammam, a Libyan exile and native of Benghazi, where the rebel government is based, rebels want to implement secular and democratic reforms.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and British Foreign Minister William Hague met opposition leader Mahmoud Jabril outside of the talks here. Ms. Clinton said that Mr. Jabrilâ€™s views on politics and civil society, including a secular vision of government, are â€śexactly in line with what [the opposition] has said are their goals.â€ť
She added that until recently they have â€śnot had any specific informationâ€ť on the so-called â€śinterim councilâ€ť largely based in Benghazi. â€śWe are still getting to know those who are leadingâ€ť the transition, she said.
Another opposition leader, Guma el-Gamaty, who teaches at the University of Westminster in London and has been a Qaddafi opponent for years, said that Libyan youth have lived with â€śno hope, no jobs, no freedom of thought, no freedom of anythingâ€ť for so long that when the tide turned in Tunisia and Libya, â€śthey seized the chance to revolt ... but Qaddafi is making that very hard.â€ť