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Encouraged by Libya rebel push, US open embassy

WASHINGTON - The United States believesLibyan rebel advances are choking off Muammar Gaddafi's forcesin the capital Tripoli and significantly increasing pressure onthe Libyan leader, the US State Department said on Monday.


State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said an envoyfrom the rebel's National Transitional Council had reopenedLibya's embassy in Washington, further formalizing ties betweenthe United States and the rebel government.
"What we are seeing is an effort by the rebels to choke offthe access routes into Tripoli and to up the pressure onGaddafi," Nuland told a news briefing.

"We're encouraged by the progress that they're making, andthey are increasing the pressure on Tripoli significantly," shesaid.
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