World leaders in Paris for Libya summit

Representatives from more than 60 countries gathered in Paris Thursday for a “Friends of Libya” summit to discuss the country's transition to democracy.

The meeting is being jointly hosted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Attendees include U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, as well as delegates from China and Russia, which recognized the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) as Libya's legitimate government just hours before the summit began.

Algeria's Foreign Minister, Mourad Medelci, told French radio on Thursday morning that Algeria would recognize the NTC once it establishes a broad-based administration.

The National Transition Council has announced that it will soon be forming a government representative of all the regions of the country and once it does this we will recognize it.

Algeria — which has granted refuge to Gaddafi's wife and three of his children — is the only one of Libya's north African neighbors not to have recognized the NTC.

The Tripoli Post points out that the meeting is taking place 42 years to the day when Muammar al-Gaddafi “led the Al Fateh Revolution on September 1, 1969, changing Libya's destiny from a monarchy to a republic”.

At the meeting, the NTC is expected to outline its humanitarian, reconstruction and political needs, reported the BBC, with diplomats saying a roadmap for a constitution and democratic elections are the expected outcome.

Meanwhile Libya's rebels are continuing to battle forces loyal to Gaddafi, who remains elusive.

Al Jazeera reports that Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam has vowed to keep up the fighting, promising victory to loyalists.

This puts him at odds with his brother Saadi Gaddafi, who has said he had his father's authorization to negotiate an end to the fighting.

NTC spokesman Mahmoud Shammam told Al Jazeera:

It seems that Saadi is not feeling safe. He is not negotiating on behalf of his father, but negotiating on behalf of his [own] life. We are talking about Saadi who is in a very bad situation.

On the other hand, we have Saif al-Islam, and he is trying to raise the morale of the people surrounding him and wants to fight.

Meanwhile Nato said on Wednesday that it had bombed pro-Gaddafi forces near Sirte the day before. Targets were also hit in the desert town of Bani Walid, a Gaddafi stronghold located 150 kilometers south-east of Tripoli.