February 27, 2011 / 3:35 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-Libya rebels form council, reject Gaddafi talks

(Adds quotes)

By Mohammed Abbas

BENGHAZI, Libya, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Rebels in eastern Libya, who have seized control of the region from Muammar Gaddafi, said on Sunday they had formed a national council to act as the face of the revolution but said it was not an interim government.

Hafiz Ghoga, the spokesman for the new National Libyan Council formed after a meeting of Gaddafi opponents in the eastern city of Benghazi, also said he saw no room for talks with the Libyan leader who has lost control of large swathes of the country.

“The main aim of the national council is to have a political face ... for the revolution,” Ghoga told a news conference after the gathering.

“We cannot call it an transition government. It is a national council,” he said.

The online edition of the Libya’s Quryna newspaper said on Saturday former Justice Minister Mustafa Mohamed Abud Ajleil had led the formation of an interim government based in Benghazi. Libya’s envoy to the United States supported Ajleil’s move.

Ghoga described Ajleil initiative as his “personal view”.

The spokesman also dismissed talk of negotiating with Gaddafi, saying: “In my view ... there is no room for negotiation.”

“It is premature to talk about elections. We still have a capital under siege,” he said, adding that membership of the national council and workings were still being drawn up.

Tripoli is still in Gaddafi’s hands.

He insisted that the council was seeking to keep the country united. “There is no such thing as a divided Libya,” he said. (Writing by Edmund Blair in Cairo; Editing by Caroline Drees)

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