At the beginning of the armed conflict in Libya, France reached an agreement with the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) to control 35% of Libyan oil in exchange for supporting the rebels, the Liberation daily reported on Thursday. Liberation said it has a letter from the NTC dated April 3 to the Emir of Qatar of a deal "to assign 35% of crude oil to France in exchange for its total and permanent support of our Council." Later NTC spokesman Mahmoud Shammam said it was a joke and that such a deal was unthinkable, Reuters reported on Thursday. "It's a joke. It's false," Shammam said. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Thursday that he "had no knowledge" of such a letter. However he said it was "logical" that countries like France that helped the National Transitional Council take power should take part in the country's reconstruction.