Istanbul, Jul 15: More than 30 nations, including the United States, today declared that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's regime is no longer legitimate and formally recognized Libya's main opposition group as the country's government.
In a final statement following a meeting of the so-called Contact Group on Libya, the nations said: the “Gaddafi regime no longer has any legitimate authority in Libya,” and Gaddafi and certain members of his family must go. The group said it would deal with Libya's main opposition group the National Transitional Council, or TNC as “the legitimate governing authority in Libya” until an interim authority is in place.
The recognition of the Libyan opposition as the legitimate government gives foes of Gaddafi a major financial and credibility boost. Diplomatic recognition of the council means that the US will be able to fund the opposition with some of the more than USD 30 billion in Gaddafi-regime assets that are frozen in American banks.
“The United States views the Gaddafi regime as no longer having any legitimate authority in Libya,” said US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. “And so 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.” AP