France sees Libya rebel fund operational in weeks
ROME (Reuters) - A special fund to help cash-strapped Libyan rebels should be operational within weeks, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Thursday, adding that Paris was evaluating its possible contribution.
He said more work was needed to free up Libyan assets held abroad despite legal problems in overcoming hurdles set up to cut Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi off from foreign financing.
Speaking at a meeting of the anti-Gaddafi "contact group" in Rome, Juppe said that another international forum, the so-called "Friends of Libya" mooted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, should include Russia and other countries.
He also expressed surprise that the United Nations had not asked for the opening of a humanitarian aid corridor into Libya backed by European Union forces.
(Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Barry Moody)
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