Senate Armed Services Committee Ranking Member John McCain (R-AZ) “on Friday urged the international community to arm and recognize the rebel Transitional National Council as the ‘legitimate voice’ of the Libyan people,” the AFP reports.
"I would encourage every nation, especially the United States, to recognize the Transitional National Council as the legitimate voice of the Libyan people. They have earned this right," McCain said at a news conference in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi in eastern Libya.
"I have met these great fighters and they are not Al-Qaeda. To the contrary, they are Libyan patriots who want to liberate their nation. We should help them do it," he said.
McCain called for “arming rebels battling Moamer Kadhafi’s forces, saying that capable countries should assist them with more weapons and training to help them oust the Libyan strongman.”
"Responsible nations need to provide the military forces of the TNC with every possible means of assistance to enable them to create conditions on the ground that increase pressure on Kadhafi to leave power," he said.
Notably, Talking Points Memo reports that the State Department “signed off on and supports” McCain’s trip to Libya.
"We were aware that Sen. McCain would be making the trip and State supported the codel," White House spokesman Jay Carney told TPM in an e-mail Friday afternoon.