April 27, 2011 / 2:08 PM / 9 years ago

UK says help for Libyan rebels is not arming them

LONDON, April 27 (Reuters) - British support given to Libyan rebels including body armour and military advisers was not the first step towards arming them, Defence Secretary Liam Fox said on Wednesday.

“We have been very clear that this is mentoring, not training,” Fox said.

Asked if this was the first step towards arming the rebels, Fox said: “Our mentoring role is to ensure that the opposition forces are able to organise themselves better, that their logistics are better, their communications is better.

“We believe this is vital to their stated role and their ability to help protect the civilian population better. So it is not a first step, nor is it intended to be,” he said.

Fox was appearing before parliament’s defence committee.

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