The Corner

Britain Officially Recognizes Libyan Rebels

The New York Times reports that Britain has finally joined France, the United States, and more than 30 other countries in officially recognizing the Libyan rebels as the government of that country:

 

Offering new support to the rebels based in eastern Libya, Britain said Wednesday that it was extending formal diplomatic recognition and that it would expel all remaining Libyan diplomats still loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.

The British government had ordered the Libyan ambassador to leave the country in May, and it was not immediately clear how many pro-Qaddafi envoys remained.

“We are a strong and true friend” of the Libyan people, Foreign Secretary William Hague said at a news conference in London. “We will remain on their side for as long as it takes.”

Britain is the latest in a long line of countries to shift diplomatic relations to the Libyan rebels. France was the first country to recognize the Transitional National Council, the rebels’ organization based in Benghazi, accepting its legitimacy in March. Two weeks ago, the United States and around 30 other countries followed suit, and the Americans allowed the rebel government access to $30 billion in Libyan assets held in the United States. Mr. Hague also followed that step, saying Britain would unfreeze roughly $150 million in Libyan oil assets for use by the council.

Mr. Hague said he was inviting the Transitional National Council to send diplomats to London, calling it the “sole governmental authority.”

The rest here.

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