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Libya's Provisional Government Gets Support From Italy


Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, left, and Libya's de facto Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril hold a news conference in Tripoli, September 30, 2011.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, left, and Libya's de facto Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril hold a news conference in Tripoli, September 30, 2011.

Libya's provisional government leaders have met with Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, who is on his first trip to the country since the fall of Moammar Gadhafi.

Frattini arrived in the former Italian colony on Friday on a mission to strengthen ties with the new National Transitional Council (NTC).

The Associated Press wire service says he announced that Italy is ready to unfreeze more than $3 billion in Libyan assets for projects that will help rebuild the country.

On Thursday, the NTC received a show of support from four U.S. lawmakers visiting Tripoli. Separately, the U.N. Human Rights Council recommended the lifting of Libya's membership suspension in the rights body.

Meanwhile, provisional government fighters are trying to gain control of the few remaining strongholds for Gadhafi's loyalists.

On Thursday, fighters said they had gained control of the airport in Sirte, Gadhafi's hometown.

The NTC has also been fighting for control of the town of Bani Walid.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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