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U.S. Envoy In Tripoli Hails New Rulers On Security

U.S. diplomat Jeffrey Feltman in Benghazi on May 24
A senior U.S. diplomat visiting Tripoli has hailed the Libyan interim government's increasing control over security forces and said Washington would reopen its embassy in the capital as soon as possible.

Jeffrey Feltman, the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, told a news conference in Tripoli that the United States was committed to continuing military operations with NATO as long as they were needed to protect Libyan civilians.

Feltman spoke after meeting the chairman of the National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdel Jalil.

Interim government forces are besieging one of deposed leader Muammar Qaddafi's strongholds, Bani Walid, 180 kilometers south of Tripoli, along with Qaddafi's hometown of Sirte on the Mediterranean coast and Sabha, deep in the southern desert.

Qaddafi's whereabouts is unknown. His spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim, told the media by satellite phone on September 14 that Qaddafi was in Libya and his forces controlled "huge areas" of the country.

Ibrahim declined to say where exactly in Libya Qaddafi was.

compiled from agency reports