| 27.07,11. 11:10 PM |
UK recognises Libyan rebels as legitimate government
The British government on Wednesday ordered all Libyan embassy staff - representatives of Muammar Gaddafi's regime - to leave the country. The UK Foreign Office said it now recognises Libya's rebels (pictured) as the legitimate government.
Britain is officially recognizing Libya’s main opposition group as the country’s legitimate government, and expelling all diplomats from Moammar Gadhafi’s regime.
The Foreign Office said the Libyan charge d’affaires was summoned Wednesday morning and informed that all eight remaining staff and their dependants must leave the country within three days.
Foreign Secretary William Hague was due to give more details later. An official speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to disclose details said Hague would officially recognize the National Transitional Council as the legitimate representatives of the Libyan people.
The move implements a decision taken at a July 15 meeting in Istanbul during which the United States, Britain and 30 other nations recognized Libya’s main opposition group as the country’s legitimate government
A popular uprising seeking to oust Gadhafi broke out in February, but the front lines in the civil war have remained largely stagnant since then.
Rebels, backed by NATO air bombings, control much of the country’s east and pockets in the west. But Gadhafi controls the rest from his stronghold in Tripoli, the capital.
Britain is one of he leading participants in the NATO campaign, but the government has been under pressure over its failure to remove Gadhafi from power.
This week Hague said for the first time that Gadhafi might be able to remain in Libya, as long as he is not in power.
He said that “Gadhafi is going to have to abandon power, all military and civil responsibility,” but that “what happens to Gadhafi is ultimately a question for the Libyans.”
France and the United States have made similar suggestions.