August 23, 2011 / 5:54 PM / 6 years ago

Italy's Berlusconi to meet Libyan rebel leader Thursday

ROME, Aug 23 (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will meet Libyan rebel leader Mahmoud Jibril in Milan on Thursday, Berlusconi’s office said.

Jibril is head of the executive committee of Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) and is referred to as its prime minister.

Once Gaddafi’s closest European ally, Rome has aggressively courted the rebels since abruptly switching sides to back them in April after a NATO bombing campaign began.

The Libyan rebels occupied the Tripoli compound of Muammar Gaddafi on Tuesday in what appeared to be a closing chapter of his rule of Libya.

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