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Turkey recognizes Libyan rebels, pledges more aid

07-04-2011 08:11 BJT

BENGHAZI, Libya, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Turkey recognized on Sunday Libya's rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people and promised to deliver an additional 200 million U.S. dollars in aid.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speaks at a press conference during his one-day visit to the Libyan opposition stronghold of Benghazi, July 3, 2011. Turkey recognized on Sunday Libya's rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people and promised to deliver an additional 200 million U.S. dollars in aid.

"I come here to express our solidarity and commitment to the future of the Libyan people, and I think the legitimate right and the aspirations of the Libyan people should be realized," Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said during his one-day visit to the Libyan opposition stronghold of Benghazi on Sunday.

"Gaddafi should leave power and a genuine political change based on the demands and aspirations of the Libyan people should be realized," he said.

Turkey, the only Muslim nation among NATO's 28 members and a key regional power, had initially resisted military operations in Libya, but currently supported NATO's airstrikes against forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Turkey has already granted the Libyan rebels 100 million dollars in aid and promised Sunday an additional 200 million dollars to improve Benghazi's infrastructure.

The Turkish foreign minister also called for an immediate ceasefire and full access to humanitarian aid to Libyan cities.

"There should be a political solution based on demands and aspirations of the Libyan people," Davutoglu said, adding that " the unity of Libya must be protected."

Since fighting against Gaddafi broke out in mid-February, the Libyan rebels have been lobbying the international community for support.

The NTC has so far been recognized as Libya's official representative by a number of countries, including France, Italy, Spain and Germany.

 

Editor:Zhang Dan |Source: Xinhua

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