France says it feels a sense of responsibility for Libyan rebels after its flag was raised over the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, France's prime minister said on Tuesday.
"There is hope in Benghazi now, the French flag is being waved there, and also the flag of a different Libya which dreams of democracy and modernization," Francois Fillon told the French parliament.
The comments come as NATO member states including the United States, Britain and France are continuing air strikes against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's forces under a UN mandate to impose a no-fly zone.
Russia opposed Western military intervention but did not use its power to veto the UN resolution authorizing military action to protect Libyan civilians.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin likened the operation to "medieval calls for crusades," a description dismissed by President Dmitry Medvedev, who said the comments were "unacceptable."
PARIS, March 22 (RIA Novosti)