Libya’s interim Prime Minister Abdul Rahim al-Kib said Thursday he was “not aware” of any camps in Libya where Syrian rebels are training to fight President Bashar al-Assad’s rule in Syria.
Speaking at a press conference with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Kib acknowledged support for the political opposition when he said his government was the first to recognize the Syrian National Council.
“And we did that because we felt that the Syrian cause is a good cause,” Kib said. “As far as training camps, unless this is done without government permission, which I doubt, I’m not aware of any.”
Russia’s U.N. envoy Vitaly Churkin on Wednesday accused Libya of helping to train Syrian rebels to carry out attacks on Damascus government targets.
“We have received information that there is in Libya, with the support of the authorities, a special training center for Syrian revolutionaries and these people are sent to Syria to attack the legal government,” Churkin said.
“This is completely unacceptable according to all legal standards. This activity is undermining stability in the Middle East,” he told a Security Council meeting on Libya.
“We think that al-Qaeda is in Syria. And now there is the question -- is the export of revolution being turned into export of terrorism?” Churkin added.
Russia is Syria’s closest ally and a fierce critic of Western action in support of the rebel fighters who brought down Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi. Russia and China have vetoed two U.N. Security Council resolutions on Syria.