The British Foreign Secretary William Hague has visited with Libyan rebel groups in the eastern part of the country in a bid to support and uphold the opposition movement seeking to remove Moammar Gaddafi from power.

Hague and Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell, talked with leaders of the National Transitional Council (NTC) in Benghazi.

We are here today for one principal reason – to show our support for the Libyan people and for the National Transitional Council, the legitimate representative of the Libyan people, Hague said in a statement.

We will discuss the situation on the ground and look forward to next week's meeting of the Libya Contact Group in Abu Dhabi. Britain remains a strong and true friend of Libya. We could not and did not turn a blind eye when Gaddafi turned his forces against innocent civilians. For as long as Gaddafi continues to abuse his people, we will continue and intensify our efforts to stop him.

Meanwhile, British Apache attack helicopters have flown their very first mission over Libya and demolished a radar station belonging to Gaddafi’s forces.

The UK is committed to this task,” Hague said. “Colonel Gaddafi is isolated internationally and domestically. He has lost all legitimacy, continues to abuse human rights without mercy or compunction. He must go.

Mitchell stated: We have already supported refugees on the borders, helped migrant workers to return home, and evacuated people from Misrata to protect them from the ongoing violence. Within Libya we have provided food and medical supplies. Today, we are seeing our support in action, and hearing what else may be needed.”

He added: It is crucial to help meet immediate needs. But the future of Libya lies in the hands of the Libyan people. That is why we are here, to discuss with the NTC how they plan to bring peace, stability and economic development to their country.

Britain and France are among the western powers who have aggressively supported the Libyan rebels.

David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, has lauded the National Transitional Council as the legitimate political interlocutor in Libya and Britain's primary partner there.”