WASHINGTON, March 11 (UPI) -- The Obama administration says U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet with representatives of the Libyan opposition transition council.
Clinton said she would meet with Libyan opposition figures next week when she travels to Tunisia and Egypt as the most senior administration official to visit since those countries' governments were toppled earlier this year by largely peaceful protests.
Meanwhile, the White House announced it would send a government aid team into rebel-held parts of Libya.
Both actions have moved the Obama administration closer to the formal Libyan opposition, The Washington Post said Friday.
The White House has rejected criticism from some lawmakers that its response to the Libya crisis has been too slow
Thomas E. Donilon, President Obama's national security adviser, said the United States and its partners had "taken a range of steps ... to squeeze Gadhafi, isolate him, really turn him into a pariah."
"We're prepared to send diplomats to Benghazi to engage the opposition inside Libya," Donilon said.
"This will be helpful to our understanding of the situation on the ground," Donilon said, and will "allow us to facilitate humanitarian assistance."