Last Update 14:19
Friday, 14 May 2021

Libya revolutionaries red-faced after diplomatic gaffe

Four countries, including Netherlands and Denmark deny recognizing the Libyan National Council

AFP , Thursday 5 May 2011

Libyan rebels were left red-faced Thursday after they announced four more countries have recognised their new national council only for three of the states to quickly deny the claim.

Rebel spokesman Jalal al-Gallal said Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands and Spain now regard the National Transitional Council (NTC) as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people.

There was no immediate reaction from Ottawa, but foreign ministries in Copenhagen, the Hague and Madrid quickly denied they recognised the council set up to rival the regime of Muammer Gaddafi.

They said they saw the NTC, based in the eastern rebel bastion of Benghazi, as a partner in the dialogue to try and find a solution to the Libyan crisis, but not as the country's ruling authority. France, Italy, Qatar and Gambia have already recognised the NTC.

The NTC was in mid-March the first to announce that France was the first country to recognise it, and Paris quickly confirmed the claim. A popular uprising against Gaddafi that began in mid-February has the left the oil-rich north African state split between the largely Gaddafi-controlled west and the rebel east.

International powers were meeting in Rome on Thursday to try to set up a new fund to aid Libya's rebels but they said plans to finance it by unfreezing billions in foreign assets from Kadhafi's regime were being held up.

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