Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Libya: Contact Group meeting yields positive results for TNC

The Contact Group meeting, held in Turkey on 15–16th July, was perhaps the most successful so far for the TNC, resulting as it did in the US joining other administrations in recognising it as the official representation for the Libyan people. Participants at the meeting agreed to treat the TNC as Libya's legitimate governing authority, despite the fact that areas of the country remain loyal to the Qadhafi. Among this and other issues, the meeting heard once again TNC's plans for ensuring democratic representation throughout Libya.

Beyond the promises made by foreign governments for continued financial support of the TNC, its recognition by the US is perhaps the most positive result the rebels could have received. Making the announcement, US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, said that the TNC would be recognised as legitimate representation until an interim authority is established. Although, according to US officials there remain a few legal hurdles, this move should allow the TNC access to the sums of Libyan money previously frozen in the US.

During an official visit to South Africa, UK's Prime Minister David Cameron discussed the situation in Libya with President Jacob Zuma, who has taken a front seat on the African front. It is understood that the UK was trying to get Zuma to agree to the importance of Colonel Mu'ammar Qadhafi stepping down. At a press conference in Pretoria, following their discussions, both leaders agreed that Qadhafi should go. President Zuma, however, believes that talks inside Libya should establish what should happen to the Leader, rather than simply removing by military force.

For more news and expert analysis about Libya, please see Libya Focus and Libya Politics & Security.

© 2011 Menas Associates

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