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Rome summit to discusses financial aid for Libyan rebels

05-06-2011 08:47 BJT Special Report:Int'l Intervention in Libya |

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Twenty-two nations and international organizations have met in Rome to find a way to financially help Libya's rebels. The rebels say they need up to three billion US dollars in the coming months for military salaries, food, medicine and other basic supplies.

The meeting agreed to create an instrument, dubbed the Temporary Financial Mechanism, to channel funds to Libyan rebels.

But there has been a cautious response from Western governments already grappling with their own financial problems.

Franco Frattini, Italian Foreign Minister, said, "There are a number of measures, as announced by the United States, whereby it will be possible to partially employ the assets frozen as a consequence of the embargo so part of the these assets can be employed under supervision so as to employ these assets to meet the daily needs of the Libyan people."



(L to R) Qatar's Prime Minister Hamad bin Jasim bin Jaber Al-Thani, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini and UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan attend a press conference after the closing of the Second Contact Group meeting on Libya in Rome, capital of Italy, on May 5, 2011. (Xinhua/Wang Qingqin)

The contact group meeting comes after the two-month Libya conflict descended into stalemate, with the ill organized rebels unable to defeat Gaddafi's forces despite NATO air strikes.

As the conflict drags on, the issue of how to pay for the uprising has grown more insistent. But Western countries have struggled to get around legal obstacles designed to cut Gaddafi off from outside financing.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini addresses a press conference after the closing of the Second Contact Group meeting on Libya in Rome, capital of Italy, on May 5, 2011. (Xinhua/Wang Qingqin)

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) and French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe pose for a family photo before the Second Contact Group meeting on Libya in Rome, capital of Italy, May 5, 2011. Foreign ministers and representatives of international organizations met in Rome on Thursday to seek a political solution to the crisis in Libya. This is the second contact group meeting on Libya after the first meeting was held in Doha on April 13. (Xinhua/Wang Qingqin)

The rebel Transitional National Council says it needs about 2 to 3 billion dollars in immediate aid. A spokesman says the rebels only have funds to pay for basic needs until the end of May.

Only Qatar, which pledged 400 to 500 million dollars and Kuwait, which promised 180 million, have said how much they will put into the Temporary Financial Mechanism.

But the meeting agreed on how the fund would be organized.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington would seek to pass legislation to unblock billions of dollars in Libyan assets to help the rebels.


Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: CNTV.CN

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