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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book 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.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs