The UK and French governments are urging the EU to come up with a strategy that will help anti-Gaddafi rebels to topple the dictator in Libya.

In a letter to the European Union’s president, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and and French leader Nicolas Sarkozy said Gaddafi’s regime has lost all legitimacy and called for plans to prepare to help anti-Gaddafi rebels including the possibility of a no-fly zone over Libya.

“It is clear to us the [Libyan] regime has lost any legitimacy that it could have,” the letter said. “To end the suffering of the Libyan people, Muammar Gadhafi and his clique must leave.”

“We need to send a clear political signal that we consider the Council as a viable political counter-party and an important voice for the Libyan people at this time,” the letter continued.

Fierce fighting shuts down Libyan oil refineries

Gaddafi loyalists beat up BBC crew

On Thursday France became the first country in the world to recognize Libya’s rebel National Council.

The UN Security Council meanwhile is split on whether to give the go-ahead to a no-fly zone over Libya.

France and the UK have long supported the no-fly zone as a way of levelling the playing field for anti-government forces bent on ending 41 years of Gaddafi’s tyrannical rule.

The news comes as Gaddafi loyalists entered the oil port of Ras Lanuf and are fighting insurgents for control of the town
There are reportedly many 150 men and three tanks in the area, in the country’s east.