16 Sep 2011

Cameron, Sarkozy in Libya

4:31 am on 16 September 2011

British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have flown into Libya, the most senior Western leaders to visit since Muammar Gaddafi was ousted.

Their countries were at the forefront of NATO's Libyan operation.

The BBC reports they will meet National Transitional Council leaders in Tripoli, before flying to Benghazi, where they are expected to speak in the former rebel stronghold's Liberty Square.

Speaking to the BBC at the airport, Mr Cameron said he was delighted to be in Tripoli, adding that he "hoped to work for a better and free and democratic Libya".

He and Mr Sarkozy then boarded a French helicopter to visit a hospital in the capital.

The BBC reports the two leaders are hugely popular in Libya, where common graffiti slogans include: "Merci Sarkozy!" and "Thank you Britain!"