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Libya contact group recognizes legitimacy of Libyan opposition

07-16-2011 08:15 BJT

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The Libya Contact Group has recognized the opposition National Transitional Council as the sole and legitimate representative of the country's people. Friday's announcement came at a press conference in Istanbul, held shortly after the bloc's fourth meeting ended.

In a final statement issued after the fourth meeting of the Contact Group on Libya, more than 30 nations, including the US, have formally recognized the country's main opposition group as its legitimate government, until a new interim authority is created.

Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State, said, "The assurances the TNC offered today reinforce our confidence that it is the appropriate interlocutor for the United States, in dealing with Libya's present, and addressing Libya's future. In contrast, the United States views the Gaddafi regime as no longer having legitimate authority in Libya."

Leaders from 30 nations and organizations convene in Istanbul to discuss a
road-map to peace in Libya. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton,
left, talks to British Foreign Secretary William Hague during the fourth
Libya Contact Group Meeting.

The UN Special Envoy to Libya, Abdelilah Al-Khatib, has been authorized as the sole representative to communicate with the Gaddafi administration.

Franco Frattini, Italian Foreign Minister, said, "Only one group will negotiate, and the group is led by Mr. Al-Khatib. Member states decided -- all the member states -- that we pass the same message to Tripoli, in case there are further attempts to have confidential mediations, or negotiation."

Meanwhile, the UK has pledged more military assistance to NATO's Libya campaign.

William Hague, UK Foreign Secretary, said, "We are stepping up further the military action. The United Kingdom has announced today that we will supply four more strike aircraft to be able to intensify the NATO military campaign, and we're looking today at this meeting at the future of Libya after Gaddafi has gone, what is necessary to stabilize Libya, to make sure there is a peaceful, well ordered future."

The opening of the fourth meeting of the Libya contact group in Istanbul.

The recognition of the opposition gives foes of Libya's leader a major financial and credibility boost.

Washington will be able to help fund the NTC with some of the more than 30 billion US dollars in assets from Gaddafi's government currently frozen in American banks.

Rebels are welcoming the recognition, and calling on other nations to deliver on a promise to release hundreds of millions of dollars in funds as well.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: CNTV.CN

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