LONDON - Turkey is ramping up shipments of diesel to Libyan rebels, effectively joining Qatar and trader Vitol in fueling the uprising against leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Ankara is stepping up support at a time that the rebels are in their strongest position since the uprising began in February against 41 years of Gaddafi rule. They have advanced into the town of Zawiyah, 50 km west of Tripoli, cutting off Gaddafi's stronghold in the capital from its supply lifeline to Tunisia.
"The motivation for this kind of relationship is political, more than trade. It means expectations," said a source with direct knowledge of the deal.
The terms of payment are unclear, but shipments of Libya's prized sweet crude once production restarts have been offered in return for supplies of diesel now.