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US, UK Recognize Rebels as Libya’s “Legitimate Authority”

US, UK Recognize Rebels as Libya’s “Legitimate Authority”

At a meeting in Turkey, the US, the UK and other countries who are members of the Libya Contact Group have announced that they are recognizing the rebel forces as the “legitimate authority of Libya.” The Transitional National Council (TNC) represents the rebel forces, who control the eastern part of Libya and some areas in the West. This recognition is a “serious upgrade of the diplomatic status of the Libyan opposition in the world,” says the Associated Press via the Guardian.

Earlier this week, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe had said that envoys from Gaddafi had been in contact with NATO officers who were informed that Gaddafi is ready to quit, but US officials remain unconvinced.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan chairs the Libyan Contact Group. Reporting from Istanbul, Al Jazeera‘s Barnaby Phillips said that the main focus of the meeting is “to get rid of Gaddafi as quickly as possible, and to look at what will come next.” A senior US official also commented that “Countries are starting to look past Gaddafi. He’s going to go.” The UN Secretary-General’s special envoy to Libya, Abdul Elah Al-Khatib, could be charged with presenting a “political package” to Gaddafi, with terms to leave power and a ceasefire to end the fighting in what has become a civil war.

The meeting of the group is the fourth since March and could lead to increased political and economic support for the Libyan rebel government. So far, Kuwait and Qatar have transferred some $100 milion to the TNC and other countries have also pledged support, but TNC officers are saying they will need more cash soon in order to “assume the full obligations of government.”

After the meeting, Italy said that it has ended its 30 billion euro investment in Libya, Prime Minister al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi.

The New York Times has reported that, according to Human Rights Watch, Libyan rebels are suspected of abuses and “apparent reprisals” against Gaddafi loyalists. Many businesses and two medical centers in four towns the rebels seized last month have been looted, while residents loyal to Gaddafi have been beaten and their homes set on fire.

The conflict in Libya has become a protracted stalemate, with Muammar el-Gaddafi remaining “entrenched” in Tripoli after 6000 NATO airstrikes, says the BBC. International sanctions have been imposed on Libya and arrest warrants for Gaddafi, his son and others issued.

In Tripoli, the BBC reports that a severe shortage of gas has led to lines as long as a mile in the city. According to NPR, Libyans in Tripoli are slowly starting to express dissent. Tripoli residents interviewed spoke of anti-Gaddafi rebel groups who are waiting for support from rebel forces advancing towards the capital. As one shopkeeper said, “most people in his neighborhood, Fashloom, have opposed the government, not just for the past five months, but for the past 20 years.”

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Photo of the Libya Contact Group meeting in Istanbul by Υπουργείο Εξωτερικών

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14 comments

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8:36PM PDT on Jul 16, 2011

Obama said he would get us out of war in 16 months, he lied, he got us in a 3rd war

7:57PM PDT on Jul 16, 2011

This reminds me very much of the 1980's and the Soviet war against Afghanistan. The US sided with the rebels in that war, as well, providing arms and money to equip them to fight the Soviets. The rebels were the Taliban. And look where THAT got us.

11:03AM PDT on Jul 16, 2011

Isn't it rather more important whom the Libyans view as "legitimate" (a word which ALWAYS belongs in quotes in re;ation to governments)?

10:13AM PDT on Jul 16, 2011

The US did this, not because it is truth, but because it helps build the damned American Empire. America is a war monger. American warlords want Libya because it is oil and water rich and sits on the Mediterranean on top of the African continent. To the empire builders the ends justify the means. To the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) every war and rebellion is great news. What we are doing in Libya is the same that Oliver North et al did in Nicaragua with the CIA inspired and news hyped "freedom fighters". It is all BS and hawks like Hillary just don't care. Gaddafi is not who he has been portrayed as by the massive western media disinfo machine.

No one in power has an answer for where these rebel forces came from. This is not part of the Arab Spring. This is a rebellion provoked by the CIA and the Mossad in the interests of empire.
Gaddafi has done well by his people. Free education and healthcare and other benefits as only an oil rich nation can afford. Thanks to American greed, they are a nation in decline now, except for the mercenary rebels who have sold out for power.


9:36AM PDT on Jul 16, 2011

I realize this story is not as "popular" as one about a dog, or a saved garden but, as always, Suisaidh C. has a very valid point.

This will become the story that will haunt all of us for years. Once again, we are being sold Western Imperialism wrapped up in the clothes of peace and democracy.

Who are these rebels?
What will become of Libya and her peoples, at the hands of these men?
Why are there so many unanswered questions as to rebels Human Rights violations?
Why did we choose to buy Libyan oil for the past many years from a man we now call a terrorist?Why was Halliburton allowed to work in Libya for the 20 years?
Why are none of you asking any of these questions?
Why has only 9 people responded to this all important story?


8:50AM PDT on Jul 16, 2011

Interesting how many people are interested in controlling what Muslim women living in Europe wear while so few apparently care that NATO is slaughtering Libyan civilians from a safe height and poisoning their country with DU ('depleted' uranium).

M.D. Nazemroaya, "Libya in pictures" (MDN is a Canadian researcher now in Tripoli): http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=25630

6:23AM PDT on Jul 16, 2011

I am not a fan of Gaddafi but i am even a lesser fan of those lying bastards, the Amerikans.

Anytime the US sides with a group, it was either formed clandestinely by the US or when the US supports a group, like these "rebels" that they know full well that they are nothing less than a group of henchmen.

Down with the US Government, and save the peoples of the World.

4:19AM PDT on Jul 16, 2011

Yes,"get rid of Gaddafi as soon as possible" and then plunder his gold,oil and water reserves!!How has the world come to this??How dare the USA and its acolytes turn a wealthy sovereign country upside down just because it has a benevolent "dictator"who stands up to the world bullies,and actually gives some of the oil money to his people!How much bribery money has been given to the traitors that are refrred to as "rebels"-that's such a feelgood expression,isn't it?!The people of Libya are going to rue the day when they suddenly find themselves in a situation of being just like the poor Iraquis-their oil reserves plundered while they plummet into poverty and destitution,and the tribal conflicts that have been kept under control by the Colonel,all re-surfacing with each side murdering each other.That is what the world bullies want;then they can plunder to their hearts content while the people destroy each other!How come the brutal regime in Syria isn't being taken to task???!!!NO OIL!!!!

12:53PM PDT on Jul 15, 2011

The Answer Coalition and Cynthia McKinney on truth about Libya:

http://www.answercoalition.org/national/news/new-answer-libya-video.html#video

8:31AM PDT on Jul 15, 2011

some good news, alas

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