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Opposition Leader: U.S. Must Recognize Libyan Rebels

The leader of Libya's opposition Transitional National Council, Mahmud Jibril
Interim prime minister of Libya's opposition Transitional National Council, Mahmud Jibril, called on the United States to recognize the opposition leadership on the eve of White House talks.

Asked by CNN television what he expected from the talks with the U.S. administration, Jibril replied: "We need the recognition."

He made a plea for the United States to free up some of the "billions" of dollars in frozen Libyan assets, saying the Benghazi-based rebels were in a financial crisis.

Earlier Jibril said opposition leaders plan to convene a national congress comprised of members from all regions to select a committee to draft a constitution.

He said the constitution should be approved by a UN-observed referendum. Parliamentary elections would follow, two months after which a president would be elected.

Jibril was speaking at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank, ahead of meetings with White House officials.

compiled from agency reports