Tripoli and London engaged in a fight of wits on Wednesday as Britain openly and officially recognized Libya’s rebels as the nation’s official government- following the steps of United States earlier decision recognising the nation’s opposition.
Tripoli spontaneously scorned and described the action as irresponsible, illegal and a violation of British and international laws,”
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton last week said the Obama administration had decided to formally recognize Libya’s main opposition group as the country’s legitimate government. The move gives the opposition unlimited assess of Libya’s billions across Europe and America.
Clinton announced Friday July 15 during an International conference on Libya held in Istanbul, Turkey, that Washington would henceforth accept the Transitional National Council as the legitimate governing authority of the Libyan people.
However, diplomatic recognition of the council means that the U.S. will be able to fund the opposition with some of the more than $30 billion Libya foreign reserves brewed by Gahdafi-regime. The assets had been frozen in American banks.
Foreign Secretary William Hague, announcing on Wednesday said Britain has recognized and would deal with the Benghazi-based Transitional National Council (TNC) as the “sole governmental authority in Libya.”
“In line with that decision we summoned the Libyan charge d’affaires to the Foreign Office today [Wednesday] and informed him that he and the other regime diplomats from the Qaddafi regime must leave the UK,” Hague said. “We no longer recognize them as the representatives of the Libyan government.
Britain had earlier expelled the Libyan ambassador and two Libyan diplomats in May.
In Tripoli, Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim responded at a press conference: “We consider this irresponsible, illegal and in violation of British and international laws,”
Kaim said Ghadafi’s government “will take necessary actions” and argue London’s decision before tribunals in Britain and other international courts.
He also scorned Hague, saying he was “acting in an unacceptable and not objective way.”
Mahmoud Ghadafi in a national broadcast said on Wednesday in an audio message to loyalists that he was ready for “sacrifice” to defeat NATO and the rebels who are trying to unseat him: “We are not afraid. We will defeat them,” the Libyan strongman said of the NATO alliance and the insurgents.
“We will pay the price with our lives, our women and our children. We are ready to sacrifice (ourselves) to defeat the enemy,” he added in a message to loyalists in the town of Zaltan near the Tunisian border.
Ghadafi also urged Libyan to march on the rebel-held Nafusa region, southwest of Tripoli, and called on his opponents to surrender.
However, Spokesman for Algeria Foreign Ministry Amar Belani said there are no other options than a political solution to the crisis in the strife-torn Libya, adding that the military campaign there should come to an end.
Belani has been quoted by local Arabic speaking daily Echorouk, on Wednesday issue, as saying that all sides agree that there is now no alternative except a political solution to the crisis in Libya, and that the military campaign has come to an end, a conclusion agreed by senior military chiefs among member countries of the contact group on Libya.
He added that since the very beginning of the crisis in Libya, Algeria has been a strong party in the efforts aiming at restoring peace there, notably through contributing efficiently in drawing up of the AU peace roadmap which is still valid.
The Foreign Ministry’s spokesman further stressed on the commitment of Algeria in working on to reach a political solution and responding to aspirations of the Libyan people, and preserving the unity of this brotherly and neighboring country.
Algeria on Saturday “categorically denied the allegations” related to the existence of Libya-bound weapons cargo transiting by the Djen Djen Port (Jijel, 360 km east of Algiers)
In another world, Italian Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa met on Wednesday with his French counterpart Gerard Longuet to discuss global military cooperation and the developments of the NATO-led operations in Libya, which both countries are actively involved.
La Russa and Longuet said that their countries shared a common stance on the future of Libya and on the need to launch the negotiation phase between the opposition Transitional National Council (TNC) and Gaddafi’s regime.
“We have always supported a unified position that may speed up the diplomatic, political and military process so as to reach as quickly as possible a post-Gaddafi phase. This is why it is crucial that we allies keep a common stance and show unity,” said La Russa at thejoint press conference.
Longuet stressed that it was essential to launch talks between the TNC and Gaddafi’s regime in order to reach a political solution that may pave the way to the birth of a new Libya without Gaddafi.
Referring to the duration of the NATO operations, Longuet argued that it would be “counterproductive to show impatience by setting a limit today”.
“Time and patience are determining factors for the success of the mission in Libya. The stakes are too high and we have all invested a lot in a positive outcome, ” he added.
Bilateral talks also centered on Italian and French joint involvement in other missions on the global stage, including Afghanistan and Lebanon, and on the decision to boost cooperation in the defense industry and military procurements.
After Hague’s Wednesday announcement, rebel supporters unfurled the red, black and green flag of the Libyan opposition outside the embassy where the regime’s green flag was lowered..
In Washington, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Wednesday the NTC had submitted a formal request to open an embassy there and “we’re reviewing that request.”
Meanwhile, African Union maintains that it wanted a political solution to Libya’s crisis, with the top notchers voice and Union reached resolutions being treated by NATO with disdain, a situation that has appalled the entire continent.
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