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Firmly backing Gaddafi: Chavez

world Updated: Aug 02, 2011 08:26 IST

AP
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President Hugo Chavez said on Monday that Venezuela would not recognize the governing body of Libya's rebels, defending Muammar Gaddafi and urging his ally to stand firm against the armed movement aimed at ousting the Libyan leader.

"I respect him a lot," Chavez said, referring to Gaddafi. "He's resisting there. Long live Libya!"

Chavez condemned Nato airstrikes in Libya and called the North African nation's rebel National Transitional Council a "group of terrorists."

Addressing Gaddafi, Chavez said: "Live and be victorious. We're with you."

Chavez, one of Latin America's most outspoken critics of Washington's foreign policy, has repeatedly condemned what he calls "indiscriminate bombing" by the United States and its allies in Libya, saying their military attacks are unjustified and will only unleash more bloodshed.

Earlier Monday, Chavez said a delegation representing Gaddafi's government was visiting Venezuela.

The self-proclaimed socialist said he was not able to meet with the delegates due to his treatment for cancer.