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

    Multimedia Obama Calls on Americans to Help the Families of Its War Dead

    In last Memorial Day of his presidency, Obama lays wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery

    The Strife of the Party: Will Trump Permanently Alter Republicans?

    While billionaire mogul's no-holds-barred style, high-energy delivery are what rocketed him to nomination, they also have created rift between party elites and his supporters

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora