July 15, 2011
The United States is granting Libyan rebel leaders full diplomatic recognition as the governing authority of Libya, after five months of fighting to oust longtime ruler Moammar Gaddafi, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday.
The decision–announced at a meeting here of 30 Western and Arab nations–paves the way for the rebels to access some of Libya’s frozen U.S. assets, which total more than $30 billion.
“I am announcing today that, until an interim authority is in place, the United States will recognize the TNC as the legitimate governing authority for Libya, and we will deal with it on that basis,” Clinton said, using the acronym for the rebels’ governing Transitional National Council.
The foreign ministers of France and Italy, both of whom recognized the rebels earlier in the conflict, said all nations at the meeting were now prepared to follow suit. France pledged to unfreeze $250 million in assets in coming days and give the money to the rebels, and Italy pledged to unfreeze $100 million.
This article was posted: Friday, July 15, 2011 at 8:24 am