07:51 GMT +320 February 2017
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    Chavez sends letter to Libya's Gaddafi wishing him victory

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    President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez sent a letter to his Libyan counterpart Muammar Gaddafi, in which he expressed support to his "brother-in-arms" and wished him victory.

    President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez sent a letter to his Libyan counterpart Muammar Gaddafi, in which he expressed support to his "brother-in-arms" and wished him victory.

    "I give you a strong hug, Muammar, with an endless sentiment of brotherly affection. Long live Libyan people! Long live to you my brother-in-arms! Libya will live and will win," Chavez read out his letter to Gaddafi on air of Venezuela's national television VTV.

    The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry does not recognize the rebel Transitional National Council (TNC) in Libya, which claims to be the only legitimate body in the country. Chavez said earlier in the week that the recognition of the rebels "violates all norms of the international law."

    The uprising which began in mid-February in Libya against Gaddafi's forty-year rule has already claimed thousands of lives, with Gaddafi's troops maintaining their combat capabilities despite NATO airstrikes against them.

    An international military operation "to protect civilians" in Libya began on March 19 following a UN resolution and has been extended until September.

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