Thursday, 22 September 2011
AU finally recognises NTC as Libya's official government
Meanwhile, the African Union (AU) has finally recognised NTC as Libya's official interim government. The AU, a pan-African organisation consisting of neighbouring states, said it was willing to help the NTC in its endeavours to rebuild the country's infrastructure after months of civil war.
The news comes shortly after Colonel Mu'ammar Qadhafi's warning to his opponents that NATO support will not last indefinitely.
Speaking about AU's decision Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, who holds the bloc's rotating chair, said: "The African Union stands ready to support the Libyan people as they rebuild their country towards a united, democratic, peaceful and prosperous Libya."
Nguema made the announcement after consulting with the remainder of the bloc, before the UN General Assembly in New York.
Shortly after his meeting with Obama at the international gathering, Jalil expressed thanks to the UN and other world leaders for their help with the Libyan crisis but noted that there was many an arduous task ahead.
He said: “Qadhafi is still in Libya and still possesses some resources that pose a threat not only to Libyans but to the international community as a whole…The road before us is still long and there are many challenges at many levels. Our needs are many, we have lost 25,000 martyrs and there are double the number of wounded."
Speaking at a high profile UN meeting, before the General Assembly, Obama praised the international community for having "the courage and the collective will to act" in Libya. He also said that the US ambassador was already on his way to Tripoli, adding: "This week, the American flag that was lowered before our embassy was attacked will be raised again, over a re-opened American embassy."
Obama reassured the Libyan nation that it can count on international support for the immediate future. He added: "Just as the world stood by you in your struggle to be free, we will stand with you in your struggle to realise the peace and prosperity that freedom can bring."
The message of hope and support came amid a defiant message from Qadhafi who said: "Do not rejoice and don't believe that one regime has been overthrown and another imposed with the help of air and maritime strikes…The bombs of NATO planes will not last."
Sources: BBC News, AFP, Reuters
For more news and expert analysis about Libya, please see Libya Focus and Libya Politics & Security.