France on Thursday formally recognized the rebel Libyan National Council as the only legitimate governing body in the country and plans to send an ambassador to the insurgent stronghold of Benghazi, French media reported.
The French presidential administration made the announcement in a statement after French President Nicolas Sarkozy met with Libyan opposition leaders in the Elysee Palace.
NATO and the European Union will hold a meeting in Brussels on Thursday to discuss the possible implementation of a no-fly zone over Libya.
Violent clashes between insurgents and forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi have been raging in the North African country since mid-February, claiming the lives of several thousand people.
PARIS, March 10 (RIA Novosti)