Obama welcomes Libyan ambassador

WASHINGTON (AP) ? President Barack Obama has formally received Libya’s ambassador to the U.S. and accepted his credentials to represent the country and its new rebel government. The ambassador, Ali Aujali, was also the envoy under Moammar Gadhafi until he broke with the regime and called for Gadhafi to resign.

The White House says Obama accepted Aujali’s credentials in the Oval Office Friday along with those of other recently arrived ambassadors. The traditional ceremony marks the formal beginning of an ambassador’s service in Washington.

National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor says the U.S. congratulates the Libyan people and the rebel government will find an ally in the U.S. as it undertakes a transition to democracy.

Libyan fighters said they clashed Friday with Gadhafi loyalists in one of the old the regime’s last holdouts.