A delegation from Libya's Transitional National Councilsits down for talks with U.S. officials in Washington on Friday, a day after getting a major political boost from Britain.
The opposition group members will meet with national security adviser Tom Donilon and other senior U.S. officials. Council head Mustafa Abdul-Jalil says the group is seeking political recognition.
On Thursday, Britain invited the rebel group to open an office in the country. British leaders also promised to provide the Libyan opposition with more communications equipment, bulletproof vests and uniforms.
Meanwhile, NATO says allied warships repelled a naval attack by forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi on Thursday. NATO says British and Canadian warships beat back speedboats that were trying to attack the port in Misrata.
The incident took place shortly after rebels announced they had gained control of the airport in Misrata, Libya's third-largest city.
Also Thursday, NATO warplanes attacked Gadhafi's sprawling Bab al-Azaziya compound in Tripoli, hours after he made his first appearance on Libyan television since last month. Libyan officials said the strikes killed at least three people. There was no independent confirmation of the casualties.
Italy's foreign minister says he expects the International Criminal Court to issue an arrest warrant for Gadhafi's arrest by the end of May. Franco Frattini said Thursday that after the warrant is issued it would be impossible for Gadhafi to go into exile because the international community would then be obliged to pursue him.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.