ISTANBUL, Turkey, (July 16, 2011) — More than 30 nations have declared Col. Mummer Gaddafi’s regime in Libya is no longer legitimate, and at an Istanbul conference on Friday, and have requested a plan to transition power to the rebel National Transition Council (NTC).
According to reports from Al Arabiya English:
In recognizing the rebel opposition government in Libya on Friday, the United States has taken its first important diplomatic step, which could me frozen Gaddafi assets could be make available to the NTC government in Benghazi.
The United States dealt a blow to Col. Mummer Gaddafi’s credibility, U.S. Secretary of State Rodman Clinton demanding that Gaddafi must agree to relinquish power, and plan for Libya’s transition to a democracy under the rebel National Transition Council (NTC). Clinton made this announcement at the Istanbul conference on Friday.
“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 in prepared remarks. “The TNC has offered important assurances today, including the promise to pursue a process of democratic reform that is inclusive both geographically and politically.”
The Libya contact group also recognized the rebel council as the country’s “legitimate governmental authority,” according to a statement seen by AFP on Friday.
She also said that the Libya council has given assurances on transparency and democratic reforms, and that the ceasefire terms clear, and must involve Col. Gaddafi’s departure.
With Gaddafi hanging on in Tripoli despite almost four months of coordinated NATO-led bombings and attacks by the rebels on the oil town of Brega, they hope to dislodge loyalist troops, which would cut the availability of oil to Gaddafi’s troops, and win a key strategic victory.
Clinton, her counterpartsof Britain, Alain Juppé of France, and Franco Frattini of Italy as well as NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen were among officials from some 40 countries and international organizations attending the talks.
Italy decided to unfreeze about $100 million Euros that would now be handed to the rebels and that a further $300 million Euros would follow.
But in an apparent rebuke to Paris, he insisted that secret talks with the Gaddafi regime to end the conflict were counter-productive.
Turkey, NATO’s sole Muslim-majority member, requested that instead of just giving the money over to the TNC, it should issue instead, and increase humanitarian assistance ahead of the upcoming holy Muslim month of Ramadan, using frozen Libyan funds.
Russia and China were invited to join the meeting, but both countries, critical of the NATO-led campaign, turned down the offer.
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