News / Africa

US Joins 30 Countries in Recognizing Libyan Rebels

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (2nd R), British Foreign Secretary William Hague (R), Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan (L) attend the Libya contact group meeting in Istanbul July 15, 2
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (2nd R), British Foreign Secretary William Hague (R), Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan (L) attend the Libya contact group meeting in Istanbul July 15, 2

Multimedia

Audio
  • Interview with Robert Powell, Economist Intelligence Unit

The United States joined 30 other countries Friday in formally recognizing Libya’s opposition Transitional National Council as the “legitimate governing authority." The decision announced at a meeting of the international Libya Contact Group in Turkey, will increase pressure on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and allow the transfer of impounded Libyan funds to the rebels.

The United States had previously only referred to the opposition TNC as Libya’s “legitimate interlocutor.”

It made the decision to join other contact group members in full political recognition after the council’s leader, Mahmoud Jibril, presented a detailed plan here for a transition to an inclusive democracy once Mr. Gadhafi yields to international pressure to step aside.

VOA's Susan Yackee speaks with Robert Powell of the Economist Intelligence Unit in New York about the US recognizing Libya's rebel TNC:

U.S. officials said the meeting broke into spontaneous applause when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the move, which could eventually free billions of dollars in Libyan money frozen in U.S. banks for the financially hard-pressed TNC.

Clinton told reporters the decision was based on the progress the TNC has made in laying groundwork for a transition to a “unified, democratic Libya” which protects the rights of all its citizens including women and minority groups.

“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," said Clinton. "In contrast, the United States views the Gadhafi regime as no longer having legitimate authority in Libya.”

Senior administration officials said nearly $32 billion in frozen Libyan assets will remain in U.S. banks until legal issues can be ironed out.

They said one option would be to let the TNC borrow against the sum until direct transfers can be authorized by, among others, the United Nations sanctions committee.

At a Contact Group plenary session, Turkish Foreign Minister and conference chairman Ahmet Davutoglu said the TNC’s financial needs are acute.

“Above all the elevation of the TNC’s urgent need for cash is of primary importance as we approach the holy month of Ramadan," he said. "In this respect, I would like to encourage all our partners in the Contact Group to consider opening credit lines to the TNC, amounting to a certain percentage of the Libyan frozen assets in their country. As such, Turkey has already opened a credit line of $200 million to the TNC.

France and Italy, among the early countries to accord the TNC full recognition, also announced new financial pledges.

Clinton told the conference the international community needs to “plan in earnest” for Libya’s future after Mr. Gadhafi. She told reporters the  TNC’s road map for a new democratic Libya was convincing, but that the process will not be easy.

“We believe them," she said. "We believe that’s what they intend to do. We are well aware of how difficult and challenging the road ahead them is. We are a long way from the kind of implementation that we all seek. We can watch what’s happening in their neighbors, which had strong institutions. And here we have a country in Libya where it was part of Colonel Gadhafi’s modus operandi to have no institutions.”

Senior officials said the United States will continue to be represented in the TNC stronghold of Benghazi by senior U.S. diplomat Chris Stevens and there will be no immediate move to set up a formal American mission there. The Obama administration some time ago halted contacts with Libya’s Washington embassy and expelled pro-Gadhafi diplomats.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Paradei
X
Anush Avetisyan
November 26, 2014 10:57 PM
Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid