Official: US to send envoy to Benghazi

By Bradley Klapper

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, March 29 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, is greeted by U.S. Ambassador Louis Susman as she arrives at Stanstead Airport in Essex, England, Monday, March 28, 2011. Clinton will be attending a conference on Libya on Tuesday.

Susan Walsh, Pool, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

LONDON — A senior administration official says the U.S. will soon send an envoy to Libya to meet with leaders of the rebels fighting Moammar Gadhafi's forces.

The official says American diplomat Chris Stevens will travel to the rebel stronghold of Benghazi in the coming days to establish better ties with groups seeking to oust the longtime Libyan leader.

The move doesn't constitute formal recognition of the opposition.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal planning, as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was preparing to meet Libyan opposition envoy Mahmoud Jibril in London.

Clinton will then attend a 40-nation conference on Libya's future.

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